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TRANSaction Day: Dialogue on Gender Identity

Keynote Speaker Col. Nicole Turner is shown before and after in her adult life.
Stetson University will hold the annual TRANSaction Day on Thursday, April 11, when students, faculty, staff, and community members have an opportunity to engage in open dialogue on gender, gender roles and a full range of gender identity issues. The purpose is to advocate for inclusive, safe schools for all students. All events are free and open to the public. Cultural credit is also available for Stetson students at each event.

“As an institution that fosters efforts around Social Justice, we have an obligation to create platforms where disadvantaged people can speak up and share their voice around issues that are muted in our communities,” said Yolany Gonell, assistant director of Intercultural Initiatives. “It’s important to note that all panelists live here in Florida. The issues that they have faced, the issues that transgender youth continue to face are very real. As an advocate, I believe it is important for all university campuses to recognize the need to create safe and inclusive spaces for all students. This is one way we are providing for that at Stetson University.”

Here is the list of events that will be taking place on this year’s Annual TRANSaction Day:

Pathways: Outing Transphobia

Language Commons, Room 129, Sampson Hall, 132 E. Minnesota Ave., Noon – 1:30 p.m.

This session will feature a panel-led discussion on the various transitioning pathways that highlight the interplay of trans identity with other identities (race, ethnicity, religion, family status, region of origin). Panelists include:

  • Col. Nicole Turner – U.S. Army veteran who founded and serves as CEO of three successful real estate and property management firms during her career. She is also a former HUD official and has served as senior vice president of the largest residential real estate investment trust in the U.S. (In the photo above, Turner is shown before and after in her adult life.)
  • Laura Radigan – Serves as the Veterans Administration & Active Duty Liaison for the Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA). She also plays a large role in streamlining sounds and tech support at the Annual Southern Comfort Conference held in Atlanta, Ga.
  • Ashley Caballe – Stetson University 2012 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Caballe is currently enrolled in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Graduate Program at Stetson. She has been an advocate for transgender rights since she began her own transition in 2008, sharing her own story with numerous universities throughout the Central Florida area.
  • Kai Puhl – Puhl is a non-traditional student studying psychology at the University of North Florida and hopes to work with gay and lesbian youth.
  • Allison Mahoney – Mahoney, a 2013 graduating senior at the University of North Florida studying psychology, aspires to work in the private sector after graduation.
  • Katherine Gonzalez – A budding transgender advocate, Gonzalez is currently spearheading the formation of a new non-profit organization, the Deltona/ West Volusia GIFT Project which is supported by The Center, located in Orlando, Fla.


Language Commons, Room 129, Sampson Hall, 132 E. Minnesota Ave., 4 – 5:15 p.m.

Facilitator – Natalie Nguyen, co-chair of the People of Color committee under the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals and serves as the program coordinator at the University of North Florida.

Questions explored with panelists include: What does it mean to be transgender? Are there multiple paths of being a trans person? What is the relationship between gender and sexuality? What are some inequalities faced by transgender people? How can I be an Ally?

Personal Journey: Keynote speaker, Col. Nicole Turner

Rinker Auditorium, Room 108, Lynn Business Center, 345 N. Woodland Blvd., 7 – 8:30 p.m.

Col. Turner will be sharing her journey as a youth, her initial “coming out” story, her transition process among other candid accounts on being “out” including stories of success and hardships.

This initiative was inspired by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and is coordinated by Stetson University’s Safe Zone Program and the Cross Cultural Center. Sponsors include the university’s Gender Studies Program, the Multicultural Student Council, Kaleidoscope – Stetson University’s Gay Straight Alliance and WORLD International Learning.

For more information please contact Yolany Gonell (ygonell@stetson.edu), assistant director of Intercultural Initiatives at Stetson University, or call 386.822.7402.