In early March, Las Positas College released its 10th edition of Naked Magazine. The front cover read, “Beyond The Bathroom- What Being Transgender Means On Campus,” along with a photo illustration of a blond woman in heels using a urinal.
While this photo may have gotten people to pick up the magazine and flip through the stories, many readers were offended and thought that the photo misrepresented the transgender community.
Jaz Almeida, 20-year-old LPC student and member of the Queer Straight Alliance, said they and other members of the alliance were frustrated, confused and a bit disappointed with the magazine.
“That isn’t the epitome of being transgender and it just feeds into a negative stereotype,” said Almeida. “There’s so much more to being transgender than choosing the bathroom that suits you.”
Tyler Abernathy said that after a meeting with the Naked Magazine staff, he was reassured that the photo wasn’t meant to be malicious.
“There was a good point behind the photo, it just wasn’t executed as well as it could have been,” Abernathy said.
Tami Sheperd, Editor in Chief of the Naked Magazine and photo editor of the Express, took the cover photo.
“We definitely did not want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Far from it. We wanted to cover issues that we felt needed to be discussed, so that they would be understood more thoroughly to bring about a higher level of acceptance,” Sheperd said, explaining that transgender issues are a very important topic.
“It’s an issue that we should learn about so that we can be more supportive,” she said.
QSA President Sarah Lee (Angel) called the photo “shocking.”
Lee thinks that accurate representation should have been more important than shock value.
“People can learn a lot about the LGBTQ community just by reaching out to others,” they said. “So many resources are available, but individuals have to be open minded and willing to learn.”
The QSA will hold a “Day of Silence” on Wed. April 13 in the quad from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. to help bring awareness to harassment and bullying within the community. All are welcome and encouraged to participate.
“I believe the Day of Silence will spread awareness in a positive way, if non-trans people can allow their minds to open up to something that differs from themselves,” Almeida said.
The QSA welcomes all students.
“I want everyone to know that ‘yes’ we have a presence here on campus. We are here to support others and we are always willing to answer any questions or concerns you may have,” Lee said.