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

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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.

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