Michigan Trans Student Union accepting anyone and everyone

By Grace Cueter and Anneliese Lechner

Many transgender students face challenges when it comes to changing their name on attendance, or responding to criticism regarding their gender identity. The Michigan Transgender Student Union works to support students that find themselves in these situations. Co-founder and leader of TSU Lotus Lloyd emphasizes the importance of supporting, uplifting and advocating for transgender students. The major push to start the union was discrimination faced on a national level. 

“Back in summer of 2020, myself and another trans student were very worried about the state of trans students and it was just the start of rampant anti-trans legislation,” Lloyd said. “Internally, the trans students were very worried and concerned.”

While he is the union leader, Lloyd feels as though each member has their own important role. The TSU welcomes all Michigan high school and college trans students and allies, and helps execute any event that is arranged.  

“Because we seek to be as non-hierarchical as possible, if you want to lead a project and want our backing support just say the word and we will be right there,” Lloyd said. “It’s really just a community.”

TSU meetings and information are both currently online. The union’s Instagram handle is @tsu_gp, where you can find details regarding the clubs goals and events, as well as the meeting times, which take place on Zoom. The group is not directly affiliated with North, therefore Lloyd finds it hard to hold in-person gatherings. However, he plans to soon bring the group face to face.

“The only event I can say for certain is absolutely happening is a trans student union picnic,” Lloyd said. “It’s a potluck style event that is going to happen in Ghesquiere Park this year, if all things work out.”

There are many other groups that are similar to the TSU. One that Lloyd both admires and is a part of  is the Stand with Trans youth leadership program. The organization is somewhere that individuals can work on projects relating to advocacy for Trans youth. 

While larger and established groups are a way to promise support to the transgender community, Lloyd emphasizes the idea that empowerment can be found on a much smaller scale. He says that a community is created in all groups working to better the lives of transgender students, and he wants to bring those individuals together to guarantee support.

“As a person who has been apart of black and queer communities, there are small groups like this, more like friend groups, where we have to advocate for each other,” Lloyd said. “TSU is just a more formal way of saying that and distributing those resources.”

TSU is open to anyone that is interested throughout the state, and Lloyd hopes to create a fulfilling space where transgender students and allies can come together to recieve and offer life assistance. 

“My goals are just to make trans people feel like if they need help they have someone to go to,” Lloyd said. “It’s a union and we use our wealth of knowledge and strength of trans students across the state to support each other.”

Photo credit: Lotus Lloyd
Photo credit: Lotus Lloyd
Photo credit: Lotus Lloyd
Photo credit: Lotus Lloyd