Transgender forum raises awareness in Reno


/ Photo by Natasha Vitale
The Transgender Allies Group hosted a forum addressing transgender issues in Reno, Nev. on Oct. 12, 2013. / Photo by Natasha Vitale

The Reno community had an opportunity to learn about transgender issues this Saturday. The Transgender Allies Group (TAG), a grassroots organization, hosted an open forum about being transgender and the different kinds of problem the group faces. The event is part of a larger effort to educate people in the community about trans issues. The forum went from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northern Nevada.

Along with booths from organizations like HOPES Trans Health Clinic, Planned Parenthood and others that distributed information, the event also hosted seminars with guest speakers to talk about specific problems trans people face, like health care and legal issues.

“What I’ve noticed in the community is that promoting more awareness brings more people wanting to know more about it and create more positivity with it,” Kyle Kaplanis said. “The more people that are aware, the more people that actually want to spread the word about transgender in a positive light.”

“It’s basic human rights and we’re networking to bring awareness to what our issues are in our own community,” Dominick Pizorno said.

Kaplanis and Pizorno are both transgender and members of TAG.

Dr. Tory Clark, a professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, was one of the guest speakers at the event; Clark spoke about the basics of what “transgender” means.

“I’ve noticed a bit of a movement across the country,” Clark said. “I think it’s fair to say that Reno’s a bit behind, but not bad. It’s been neat growing up here and seeing the change happen.”

Many people came out to the event to get information about specific issues and also to show support as an ally. This is the first open forum that TAG has hosted since forming in 2012 and the organization hopes to have more in the future.