Jory Mandell

My name is Jory Mandell and I am a sophomore public relations major at the University of Maryland. I was born and raised in Montclair, New Jersey, a town that is very diverse and accepting of anybody and everybody.

Growing up, I was surrounded by people of all races, religions, sexualities, and gender identities.  For the most part, my peers were all very open and comfortable about who they truly were, and were rarely judged or shamed for it. However, over the years I have come to realize that the rest of this world is not the same as my hometown, and it is something that upsets me greatly.

I chose to come attend this university because of the diversity and the large population of the student body. While it is, for the most part, more accepting than others and there are many apart of communities such as that of the LGBTQ one, people are still not nearly as aware as they should be when it comes to this subject.

I am lucky enough to feel comfortable with who I am and in my own skin, but unfortunately, that can not be said for everyone. It is appalling that people have to feel shame when it comes to matters of their gender identity and that they are unable to have the same rights as everyone else.  This is a topic that I am personally very passionate about, and through this blog, I am hoping to inspire others to feel the same.  hands-in-air

Sophia Fabian

My name is Sophia Fabian and I am currently a sophomore at the University of Maryland, College Park and studying communication. Although I do not personally know anyone who struggles with gender identity, my younger brother has some friends that do.

My brother is very accepting of his friends, however I know that not everyone is as tolerant of them and their differences as he is. This topic is important to me because I think in this day and age it’s important that everyone has a better understanding of the challenges and issues that transgender people face so that hopefully, people can be more accepting of them.

The topic of gender identity has recently become very controversial on a state and federal level. It is necessary to openly talk about the issue of gender identity in order for people to have more tolerance for the transgender community and a better understanding of the issue. Progress on this issue can only be achieved if the bias and misunderstanding of gender identity is erased from society.

Arielle Dukofsky

My name is Arielle Dukofsky, and I’m a sophomore public relations major at the University of Maryland. One of the main reasons I chose to study at the University of Maryland is the diversity of its student body. I am grateful that I have the opportunity to receive my education in a place filled with people coming from all different backgrounds, cultures, and identities. While being exposed to all different perspectives, I can confidently say that I have grown as a person and have opened myself up to new people and ideas; one of these ideas being gender identity.

Over the past few years, I have become increasingly aware of the complexities surrounding gender identity and its prevalence in society. In addition, I have begun to notice the inequality that transgender people face on a daily basis – whether it be at work, in the classroom, or on the street. I believe that this intolerance of others comes as a direct result of ignorance and outdated social norms that fog a person’s perception. Through this blog, I will strive to promote the acceptance of all gender identities in society.GenderGraphic-e1433379746312-655x473


Hannah Geller

My name is Hannah Geller. I am a sophomore communications major on the public relations track at the University of Maryland. In this post, I will be discussing why gender identity is an important issue to me.

I think that it is necessary to study gender identity because sometimes the public misunderstands what gender identity is. People make assumptions before being fully informed.


To me, gender identity is important because I feel that every individual should be able to be their true self without being judged for it. I know many people who are transgender and I think that they deserve to be treated fairly, without criticism. Gender identity often comes with some sort of stigma and controversy, which I believe is unfair. Some people are intolerant of others who are transgender or might be questioning their gender identity and in my opinion, this is unacceptable. We need to do something as a society to progress and move forward. Our blog will be discussing this issue over the course of the semester!

Daniela Rietti

My name is Daniela Rietti, and I am currently a sophomore public relations major at the University of Maryland, College Park. I grew up in Westchester, New York, and in high school many of the kids in my grade were in the LGBTQ community. Since my town is very small, everyone in the school knew who these people were, and sometimes would make comments or judge them because of it.

I wanted to write about the topic of gender identity in my group’s blog posts because I feel that many individuals around the world do not completely understand what it means to be a transgender man or woman. Nearly one million people in the United States identify as transgender, but often people assume that being transgender means that a person is gay, suffers from mental disabilities, or hates their bodies.

Since gender identity has become a highly conversed topic, I feel that discussing and debunking the myths associated with it is extremely necessary in order for the future of society to become more widely accepted and understood.