3 Impactful Ways to Celebrate Trans Awareness Week
3 Impactful Ways to Celebrate Trans Awareness Week
By: Victory (they/them) | WFH Digital Media Coordinator
This week, we celebrate and honor the lives of our transgender comrades with Transgender Awareness Week!
Each year, transgender people, allies, and organizations advancing the rights of transgender and gender non-conforming people celebrate Transgender Awareness Week (or TAW for short) by educating the public on and increasing visibility and advocacy for those in the transgender community. Advocating for trans rights and livelihood has become a race against time and money, with governing legislation and socio-political violence constantly hindering the autonomy of trans bodies. This is why advancing the rights and safety for transgender and gender non-conforming people is so important, and why it’s such an incremental part of Transgender Awareness Week. We celebrate trans lives not only to advance awareness of the experiences of trans people, but also to commemorate the lives lost to anti-transgender violence.
In our part to bring more awareness to the trans community, here are 3 ways you can celebrate Transgender Awareness Week as well as honor the trans and gender-bending people in your life!
Donate your money and resources
We hate to say it, but our capitalistic society runs on money for virtually everything. It’s difficult to pinpoint one common way we can all help to diminish trans violence, but we gotta say that providing money where it is needed is definitely an effective way to do it! Whether it be donating to a mutual aid fund for a trans person in your local or virtual community, or directly supporting a trans individual through reparations. We recommend looking into the practice of providing reparations, especially for black and indigenous trans people, who are 40% more likely to experience murder due to anti-transgender based violence. We also encourage you to look into donating to tried and true organizations which provide housing, mental health, and medical support for transgender and gender non-conforming people. Community driven and mutual aid organizations will be your best bet, as these are usually grassroots and driven by the community itself.
Check out these awesome organizations you can donate to and support! We’ve included their websites for your convenience
Trans Lifeline is a peer-run emergency and mental health crisis line for transgender and gender non-conforming individuals. They are completely divested from police and other institutional platforms and are 100% volunteer ran by people in the transgender community.
The Knights and Orchids Society (TKO) is a grassroots organization founded and led by Black transgender, queer, and gender non-conforming people through rural areas of Alabama and across the south. They focus on education, leadership development, and providing cultural work to their community.
FOR THE GWORLS is a community organization that raises funds to assist with Black trans folks’ medical needs as well as housing and rent expenses.
Educate yourself and others on transgender and genderqueer experiences
According to a recent article by Forbes, 2021 has seen the most violence inflicted on the transgender community, with about 375 worldwide reported deaths directly from anti-transgender violence. About 70% of these deaths occurred in South America, with the highest accounts in Brazil. These statistics illustrate that the majority of these deaths were Black, Latin, or Afrolatin trans people, trans migrants, or trans sex workers. This obviously does not count any unreported deaths, which the Human Rights Campaign has mentioned are usually unaccounted for as people are generally deadnamed, misgendered, or all around discounted from the conversation. Our experiences deal with a magnitude of consequences, simply for existing in our bodies and wanting to exercise autonomy over our rights.
A great way to honor these lives lost is to educate oneself in the experiences of trans people -- good or bad
Talking with trans people, including trans people in conversations which often intersect gender, even sitting down and getting to know people in the trans community and their opinions on how allies can be well, better allies! While of course donating to organizations which provide resources. Get to know us. There are plenty of great books on google and videos on YouTube that can help increase your awareness and visibility on trans rights and trans experiences such as using inclusive language, providing representation in the medical field and within legislation, or supporting us during our transition or times we choose to unmask, etc. Social media is a great tool for connecting with trans individuals, as well! Looking up hashtags that center the trans community or following trans/gender non-conforming influencers and content creators is a great place to start if you don’t have any trans people in your immediate circle.
Learn what it takes to be a better ally for the transgender community
Allyship is a constant and shifting journey that is taken upon to provide support, stability, and resources for those in our community who are not granted the same privileges. Perhaps the most crucial way you can uplift trans voices and the trans rights movement is by practicing being a better ally.
This takes knowing when to admit to our faults and acknowledging we don’t always know everything
This also demands some semblance of self-compassion, a level of compassion for ourselves and others where we learn not to take things personally and exist in a space where someone less privileged than us can tell us how we can do better.
Showing up as better allies for our trans comrades means learning how to implement inclusive language into our everyday dialogues (whether or not they include or exclude trans people). This means educating ourselves on the importance of pronouns, not using deadnames, and even learning how to address large groups of people with gender inclusive language. This may mean letting go of certain notions we carry about gender, gender expression, and even how we interact with certain genders. Being a better ally also means educating oneself about the lived experiences of trans people in this world and how medicine, politics, and media are inherently transphobic institutions. Being a better ally means acknowledging no one is perfect, we all make mistakes, and we all have a responsibility to do better. And of course -- if your allyship is not intersectional and does not attempt to dismantle institutions and discrimination based off race, class, gender, and disability, IT IS NOT ALLYSHIP. To be a good ally, your allyship must be intersectional, period.
Showing up for the trans community this Trans Awareness Week can mean empowering yourself and others to take a step in the right direction towards advocating and awareness.