News: It’s Transgender Awareness Week, Here is Why It Matters
(Photo Credits: SVG file Dlloyd based on Monica Helms design [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)
It’s Transgender Awareness Week 2018, guys! But what is it and why do we observe it?
Transgender Awareness Week is a week-long annual celebration typically observed during the second week of November (November 12-19 this 2018) leading up to Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) which is held every 20th of November each year. The purpose of Transgender Awareness Week is to celebrate diversity, to help raise the visibility of transgender and gender non-conforming people, to help raise awareness about the issues associated with their transition or identity, and hopefully to help address the issues that the community faces.
But what does transgender mean? GLAAD says it is “an umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from what is typically associated with the sex they were assigned at birth.” In order to help us understand better what it means to be a transgender, GLAAD released a reference guide which you can read here and here. They also sat down with several transgender people and their families to “look beyond the surface of what it means to be trans,” watch two of their videos below.
Further, why do trans people need more visibility and why does Transgender Awareness Week matters? It is because visibility spreads awareness and awareness brings understanding and only then will the entire world be able to come together and help address the issues and challenges that the community faces. Among such challenges, to name a few, are:
- Hate violence – transgender people are being murdered (sometimes their loved ones or friends as well) for simply being trans.
- Rape – a study revealed that 50% of trans experienced rape and assault by their romantic partner.
- high levels of discrimination and poverty
- Limited access to healthcare
- Mental health, suicide rate for example and suicidal tendencies among transgender people are considerably higher as compared to the general population – suicide attempt rate: 41% of the transgender people in the US attempted suicide at least once in their life.
- Lack of non-discrimination bills that are transgender inclusive [housing, employment, and public accommodations (bathroom access rights for transgender people for example)].
According to the study conducted by the Williams Institute in 2016, an estimated 0.6% of the U.S. population or approximately 1.4 million adults identify themselves as transgender.