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Protest over deadnaming at University of Illinois taking place on Saturday

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A protest disavowing the deadnaming of transgender students at University of Illinois commencement ceremonies will be held at the Alma Mater this Saturday, May 22, at 2 p.m.

The protest is organized by rising junior Linds Flood and recent graduate Cyrus Arnieri and will feature a number of queer and transgender speakers.

“It’s the bare minimum to make trans kids feel comfortable,” said Flood, “I believe the University has a responsibility to provide a safe, respectful and inviting place for their trans students, along with other minority communities.”

According to the University of Illinois’ 2019 Campus Climate Survey, just over 2 percent of the 2,063 people surveyed identified as transgender. Looking back on his years at the University of Illinois, Arnieri described the incident as a “reoccurring issue” for the university.

“Transgender students still struggle with changing their names on Zoom, are still deadnamed in emails and cannot even celebrate their graduation without the University ruining it,” said Arnieri, “I want the University to hear us and make change and begin respecting their students.”

The university allows students to use their preferred name on their diplomas, and students are asked for the pronunciation of their names before walking across the stage at graduation. However for many transgender students, their deadnames were broadcast on screens, announced aloud, and shown on graduation livestreams.

“The University has had my preferred name registered for over two years. I do not know how they can continue to mess this up.”

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