Transgender Awareness Week Allows Conversation

People+of+different+gender+identities+come+together+to+support+each+other+for+trans+awareness+week.+This+week+both+celebrates+and+advocates+for+the+transgender+community.

Graphic by Claire Stafford

People of different gender identities come together to support each other for trans awareness week. This week both celebrates and advocates for the transgender community.

Carter Van Zanten, Sports Editor

Each year, organizations and people from all around the world participate in Transgender Awareness Week to bring light and visibility to the transgender community. This includes bringing awareness to the hate and issues the community faces daily. 

I don’t think there’s an issue or policy out there that wouldn’t benefit by the inclusion of LGBQ and trans/non-binary individuals,” said Riley Williams, a program assistant of the LGBTQ Center OC.

The week will conclude with the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) on November 20. This day allows members of the transgender community to be recognized and supported by the community and government.  

Transgender people often face societal discrimination, through physical violence, limits to safe health services, evasion of their homes, and more. Just last year, a record-breaking amount of anti-trans bills were introduced in state governments, with over 250 bills recently passed. 

These bills block safe medical care from transgender youth, and prohibit transgender people from access to restrooms and playing on sports teams that match their gender identity.

Whether you’re transgender, non-binary, gender non-conforming, or none of the above, your gender and your expression belong to you. Letting go of our societal expectations of gender and expression would make anyone feel free”

— Riley Williams

Rita Hester, a black transgender woman, was brutally murdered on November 20, 1998, in a targeted attack due to her gender, leading her story to be shared nationwide. Now, this day serves as a time when the LGBTQ community and allies around the world can come together to memorialize and protest against all of the transgender, non-binary and gender-nonconforming people unjustly killed and murdered. 

There are several ways to support the Transgender and LGBTQ+ communities,  including donating to different organizations, volunteering, and showing support.

“Find and spread around the information on the issues the transgender community faces such as: high risk of homelessness, reported lower income than their peers, overall lack of resources for the trans community, etc. Just to name a few big ones,” said Williams.

Take some time out of your day to give somebody a hug or even just a smile, show your support and let yourself be open to love whether it is giving or receiving. To those who are a part of the community, I am so proud of you and your journey. There will always be a whole community here to welcome you and love you for who you are. 

“The holidays can be rough, to say the least for the LGBTQ community. Having a chance to provide a small token of acceptance and love to our community members has proven to go a long way. To be seen, acknowledged, and to face reality together as a new kind of family for those who have lost theirs to hate and bigotry,” said Williams.