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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

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Why Transgender Awareness Week Is Important!

We reflect on a week-long movement to show solidarity with the transgender community and raise awareness of the issues still faced.

From the 13th to 19thth November, individuals and organisations have come together in a variety of campaigns and events for Transgender Awareness Week. Cumulating in the Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20th – an annual observance which honours the memory of transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of
anti-transgender violence.

While the visibility and dialogue of the transgender community has increased greatly in the last decade or so, recent statistics on attitudes across the general population haven’t been so encouraging. It reveals there are still a number of misconceptions and negative perceptions about the transgender community.

The Ipsos LGBT+ Pride 2023 survey showed that while 77% support protecting transgender people from employment and housing discrimination, only 47% agree that transgender teenagers should be allowed to receive gender-affirming care, such as counselling and hormone replacement treatment, with parental consent. Even worse, only 40% agree that transgender people should be allowed to use single-sex facilities, such as public restrooms, that correspond to their gender.

The statistics for hate crimes against the trans community are even more alarming. Home Office statistics show that 4,732 hate offences targeting transgender people were reported to forces in the 12 months to the end of March 2023. That’s an average of 13 hate crimes a day.

With this in mind, it’s never been more important for the LGBTQ+ community and allies to show solidarity and celebrate the trans community. There are scores of online and in-person talks, fundraisers and events around London, and the rest of the UK, including a number of vigils in local parks and community spaces on November 20th. You can donate to several trans charities that advocate for rights and protections, raise issues such as mental health issues specific to the transgender community and offer advice and guidance to those transitioning and their families.

At the very least, you can show support by acknowledging and using a person’s preferred pronouns. If you’re not sure, politely ask how that person prefers to be addressed. You can also show support by including your own pronouns in your email signature or lobbying for your workplace to incorporate them.

Whilst the LGB portion of the LGBTQI+ community has made great strides in rights, freedoms and equality and against persecution, it’s now our duty to support transgender, non-binary, intersex, genderfluid and all other individuals, who are currently fighting for those freedoms.

Below is a list of charities, institutions and sources of useful information for transgender, non-gender conforming and allies.

Mind offers a confidential listening service for people who identify as trans, agender, genderfluid, and/or non-binary.

Gendered Intelligence is a registered charity that exists to increase understanding of gender diversity and improve trans people’s quality of life.

Mermaids is a London-based charity helping trans, non-binary and gender-diverse children, young people and their families.

GLAAD offers some useful resources on how to become a better trans ally

Unison offers guidance on transgender rights in the workplace.

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