Commemorating Trans Awareness Week
Trans Awareness Week is November 13-19 and aims to help raise the visibility of transgender people and address issues that members of the community face. While it is important to bring awareness to the unique challenges faced by trans folks—which include barriers to accessing health care, discriminatory housing and employment practices, and lack of legal protections—Trans Awareness Week is also a time to honor, celebrate, and uplift our trans community and to show that this is a community of incredible resilience, healing, and strength.
The end of the week leads into Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), which was initially founded by Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honor Rita Hester, a trans woman that was murdered in 1998. TDOR is an annual observance on November 20 that honors the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence this year.
According to a 2021 Gallup poll, 68% Americans believe they have never personally met anyone who is transgender. That means the majority of the public’s education and awareness about transgender people has been informed by more than a century’s worth of media which has overwhelmingly misrepresented and mischaracterized who trans people are—significantly influencing public perceptions, policy, and attitudes about the trans community.
As the visibility of transgender people has become more authentic, and as more people have been able to share that they are transgender, a coordinated anti-transgender backlash has been launched in an attempt to stop this growing acceptance. In order to counteract the disinformation campaign targeting trans, gender non-conforming, and non-binary people, and especially trans and gender-expansive youth, it is important to have resources with accurate, helpful information to correct the untruths and disinformation.
Please check out these resources:
- GLAAD: Transgender Awareness Week
- Human Rights Campaign: Honor Trans Awareness Week and Transgender Day of Remembrance with HRC
- NYC Health: Transgender, Gender Nonconforming, Non-Binary and Gender-Expansive Health
- PFLAG: Straight for Equality Guide to Being a Trans Ally
And these community groups:
- Hetrick-Martin Institute
- LGBT Network
- New York Transgender Advocacy Group
- Rainbow Heights Club
- SAGE NYC (Advocacy and Services for LGBTQ+ Elders)
- Trans New York
At S:US, we are committed to establishing an organization that intentionally fosters diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and accessibility (DEIBA) in every action and branch of our organization. We believe in creating space for everyone to feel that they belong and building an environment in which each employee, person served, and community member is able to nurture their own identities while cultivating empathy, respect, and acceptance for differences. We foster, develop, and maintain a racially diverse and culturally inclusive workforce throughout the agency from leadership to line staff.
This Trans Awareness Week, we invite everyone to be allies and show your support of the trans community. There are many ways to be an ally to the trans community from not making assumptions about other people to using inclusive language. We will continue our efforts to ensure we create a safe and affirming space for everyone.