TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)- Residents in the Capital City and around Kansas got a first person view of what it means to be transgender in Kansas.
TransKansas IV has made Topeka its home in 2016. Kansas Statewide Transgender Education Project is hosting the fourth annual conference Friday and Saturday at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Topeka, 4775 SW 21st St. It had previously been held in Manhattan, Lawrence, and Wichita.
“This is a unique opportunity for people in the Topeka area to learn more about what it means to be transgender in Kansas,” said Luc Bensimon, KSTEP board member.
Over the two days, more than 30 workshops will be held that focus on the obstacles the transgender community faces and what resources are available to them.
“Frankly, in our community you can’t really completely feel safe if you’re a transgender person in Kansas,” said Stephanie Mott, president and executive director, KSTEP.
Mott says having events like TransKansas are important so people have a safe place they can go in the community.
“It’s important for us to have a place where people can come and not have to look over their shoulder and wonder whether not who’s watching them, whether or not you’re in danger,” she said.
Speakers from around the Topeka area, the state and the region will be on hand. Some of the speakers include Thomas Witt the executive director of Equality Kansas and Alyssa Bryant, Oklahoma’s only openly-transgender attorney. Shawnee County Department of Corrections Director Brian Cole will also be presenting on the treatment of transgender inmates at the jail.
All presentations are open to the public. They are $10 for adults, $5 students and free for anyone who volunteers at least four hours.
Forums will be held Friday afternoon from 4 until 5:20 p.m. Workshops begin again Saturday at 10 a.m. You can find the entire schedule at http://transkansas.com/.
“I think that if people got to know us and got to understand that we’re just people and then I think that people would be a lot more open to accepting us the way we are,” Mott said.