Nationally trending topic opens discussion in Columbia

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COLUMBIA - A nationally trending topic opens a door for discussion in Mid-Missouri.

In the wake of Caitlyn Jenner making her debut on the Vanity Fair cover, the transgender topic has become widespread nationally. The Center Project holds meetings every other Wednesday called the Men's Leadership and Activities Network (MLAN). MLAN coordinator Matthew Grover said these meetings are a place for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community to discuss topics like being transgender. 

"I was very relieved and happy when Caitlyn Jenner came out. This kind of publicity allows for a bigger discussion of the transgender community that needs to be talked about," Grover said. 

This topic has sparked some controversy. An example of this is the comment from earlier this year from presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, who said he wished he identified as transgender in high school.

"I'm pretty sure I would have found my feminine side and said, 'Coach, I think I'd rather shower with the girls today,'" Huckabee said. 

But Columbia business owner, Van Hawxby, said people who speak out against being transgender should be more honest.

"Maybe if other people were honest with themselves as well as Caitlyn has been, it may be a more interesting world...and a little less repressing world," Hawxby said. 

The Center Project hosts MLAN meetings every other Wednesday, starting at six p.m.