Trans Awareness Week both celebrates the diversity of genders for people who do not identify as the gender assigned to them at birth and acknowledges the serious challenges transgender people face due to stigma and discrimination.
Some may see gender as a binary, yet experts view gender as a spectrum. Trans people embody more than what is traditionally known as a woman or a man. A trans person may identify as a woman, man, or as nonbinary. They may find themselves still in a space of gender exploration, outside the expectations of traditional gender roles.
Simple ways to respect a person’s gender identity is to use their correct pronouns (he/she, she/her, they/them, or as advised). Further, unless you are in a close relationship with a trans person, it is not okay to inquire about their gender identity or body. Just like any cisgender person (a person who identifies with their assigned gender at birth) would not want questions about their own body or dress, mutual respect is important.
Remembering lives lost or negatively impacted
Trans women, in particular Black and Latinx trans women, are disproportionately affected by fatal violence. Additionally, trans people have much higher rates of attempted suicide than their peers. This is why it is important to remember those who have been affected by gender-based violence, LGTBQ+ discrimination, and harassment.
Celebrating trans people and gender diversity
Trans Awareness Week is a time to appreciate and learn from the gender-nonconforming people in our lives, including coworkers, friends, and family. Using our pronouns in introductions is a good way to show allyship with trans people. We can also continue to advocate for gender inclusivity in social settings, workplaces, and in our homes. Accepting each other for who we are is the first step toward ending harmful stigmas that affect people’s wellbeing and mental health.