Q&A with Kelly Ancharski, MSW '20
What does it mean for you to have created a home through Trans + Queer = Collective?
Helping to build the Trans + Queer = Collective has allowed me to find safety, validation, and support at Silver. In carving out room for transness and queerness, I allowed myself to embrace my full identity through the love and collaboration of a chosen family. I also strive to create a holding space for other trans and queer peers, deconstructing white heternormativity and looking to center voices/leadership/power from queer students of color.
How does Trans + Queer Collective provide a home for our Silver Community?
By combining community building and advocacy work, the Trans + Queer = Collective has ensured that gender expansive and queer students have the ability to heal, grow, and transform together. As a collective, we can process our identities, organize, and transcend isolation. Having a mirroring and embracing of identity beyond the confines of the binary and sex/gender system, I have found collaborators and partners. In this home, I have safety to explore and grow.
What is one thing you want to share with prospective students about Silver’s student groups and getting involved?
Being involved in student groups has been a sustaining and grounding force throughout my MSW program. Get involved as early and as often as your life allows! There are so many different ways to stay connected, and each individual incoming student has their own lived experiences that are valuable to Silver. Social work is community organizing, and that professional and personal journey begins with our time in academia.
How have you found your people at Silver both in / out of Trans + Queer Collective?
Moving from out of state, my queer family was no longer a few minutes away, so participating and transforming the Trans + Queer Collective allowed me to find that community again. Having those connections has fostered my dedication to advocacy and organizing. The ability to lean on someone else, find partnership, and embrace queer love has been essential in understanding my identity and motivation for systematic change. The Trans + Queer Collective, in combination with involvement in other student groups and outside NYU organizations, has facilitated this ongoing connection.