Bethany Grace Howe
School of Journalism and Communication, Ph.D. student, year 2 of 4
Raised in Colorado, Lived last decade (before moving here) on the Oregon Coast.
My community at UO is the School of Journalism; it's been my community as long as I've identified as transgender. It's a collection of people that are very much alike and different. We are different in that we come from different places, and have different backgrounds, experiences and therefore solutions to the problems and issues that lie in front of us. We are alike in that we're all committed to a free and open press as a place for people to express and take in ideas. For me personally this is critical; I cannot imagine a more warm and welcoming place in which to come out and grow as a transgender woman.
My biggest challenges are the ones I create for myself. I've been very lucky in that the SOJC has embraced me and given me a freedom and emotional support most people could only imagine. As a result, I try to speak up for those who are unable to speak for themselves, and try to understand people's struggles that are not my own. I'm not always successful, and so I try to learn what I did wrong, what I can do differently next time – and hopefully have the courage to try again.