As of 2021, a lot of nations have not recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic yet. But this doesn’t mean that the world should stop its social progress. To avoid regression and stagnance, one must know how important Trans Awareness Week is.
Having this knowledge will give you an important role in shaping the world into a more gender-inclusive and safe haven.
What is Trans Awareness Week?
It’s an annual celebration observed every November 13th to 19th which is a week leading up to the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR). TDOR is a commemoration of trans people who have died from transphobic violence.
TDOR is commemorated every 20th of November. It’s a day when activists and trans advocates raise awareness about the pressing issues that surround the transgender community. This is done through education, gatherings, and TDOR-related activities.
Going back to Trans Awareness Week, it’s a week-long celebration that’s held by third parties through different events in different venues. This also includes remote celebrations which are done online.
The main central venue also changes every year upon the decision of the main organization that handles the paramount celebrations for trans awareness week.
Trans awareness week has many purposes. It’s not just about celebrating and raising awareness about the negativity that surrounds the lives of transgender people. It also educates people outside of the community about the issues involving the transition or identity of trans individuals and gender non-conforming people.
Before getting to the nitty-gritty of how you can participate in Transgender Awareness Week 2021, you have to know how it started and the factors that contributed to cementing it as an important annual celebration.
- Christine Jorgensen (1952) – she’s the first transgender woman who was publicly known to have undergone gender reassignment surgery. Her coming out was featured by different American media outlets which provided people access and knowledge about transgender issues.
- Roberta Cowell (1954) – she’s the U.K. counterpart of Christine Jorgensen. Her story of having a gender reaffirming surgery (GRS) has gained a lot of public interest in the nation as well.
- Reed Erickson (1964) – a trans man and the creator of Erickson Educational Foundation which is the first foundation to promote transgender and gay equality. It also donated a lot within the community.
- In 1972, the country Sweden legalized changing the s*x markers in birth certificates of transgender individuals.
- In 1975, Dr. Trudy Kennedy and Dr. Herbert Bower established the first clinic for gender dysphoria named Gender Dysphoria Clinic at the Queen Victoria Hospital in Melbourne, Australia.
- The Victorian Transsexual Coalition and Victorian Transsexual Association were formed in 1979. They were the first trans rights and advocacy organizations in Australia.
- A BBC Documentary entitled A Change of Sex, which featured the male-to-female transition journey of a trans woman named Julia Grant aired in 1979.
- FTM International, the first advocacy group for transgender men was founded by Lou Sullivan in 1986. Its purpose was to negate the notion that trans men were all lesbians before deciding to transition into a male.
- On November 28, 1998, a trans woman named Rita Hester was violently murdered because of her gender identity. It was followed by a candlelight vigil on December 4, thus, the birth of the first idea of the first International Transgender Day of Remembrance led by a trans woman named Gwendolyn Ann Smith.
- In 1999, Calpernia Addams became the talk of the nation when her boyfriend PFC Barry Winchell was murdered after his colleagues found out that he was dating her (a transgender woman).
- The first observance of the International Transgender Day of Remembrance in commemoration of victims of anti-transgender violence took place on November 20, 1999.
- The Transgender Law Center was founded in 2002. It aims to alter laws and notions of people regarding transgender individuals so the latter could live a life without discrimination based on their gender identities.
- The Sylvia Rivera Law Project was founded in 2002. It provides legal and educational services which aim to alter policies that curtail the progress of trans people’s dream of gender equality.
- Transgender activist Rachel Crandall from Michigan created the International Transgender Day of Visibility on November 20, 2009. It’s the counterpart of the Transgender Day of Remembrance. Instead of commemorating the departed trans people who died from violence, it’s a celebration of living trans people and raises awareness of transgender issues.
- In 2010, the Australian Defence Force policy allowed Australian openly trans individuals to serve.
- Sacramento, California’s Gender Health Center opened its doors in 2010 for transgender individuals.
- The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission declares transgender people protected against employment discrimination because of violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Now that you know the contributing factors and have your question “when is trans awareness week” answered, it’s time to know how to celebrate Trans Awareness Week!
How to Celebrate Transgender Awareness Week 2021
There are many ways to celebrate trans awareness week but because of the world’s current social distancing protocols, the ways that they were celebrated pre-Covid-19 will be a little bit different depending on where you’re located at.
- Post “Did-you-know” content about transgender people’s lives on your social media account.
- Share the handles of your favorite transgender celebrities to let people know how influential trans people can be.
- If you’re a transgender person, share your talents online. It can be a simple singing, dancing, drawing, video in TikTok format, or whatever social media platform you’re currently into, and use the hashtags #TransAwarenessWeek and #TransAwarenessWeek2021.
- Watch your favorite movies that feature transgender stories.
- GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) recommends watching the shows Disclosure and Pose. Feel free to get your gang to make popcorn and binge-watch these.
- Look for social media groups of organizations that help transgender people and find an event near you.
- Think of creative ways on how you could celebrate your gender identity if you’re a trans person.
1. How to Celebrate Trans Awareness Week during Covid-19
But of course, we’re all aware that COVID-19 situations are different for various countries so if you’re in a place where mass gatherings aren’t allowed, try the different ways below.
- Attend a Trans Awareness Week near you (only if you’re fully vaccinated).
- Join online events that are related to the trans awareness week.
- Post Transgender content on your timeline for the whole trans awareness week and have your friends’ interest in the lives of trans people.
- Gush about your favorite trans media or influencers and share them on your timeline.
2. How to celebrate transgender week as an organization
Are you a member of an organization or a company that’s trans-inclusive, if so, let the people in charge be aware of how important this week is for trans people.
- Create a trans awareness week raffle and give out prizes. These prizes could be in the form of consumable content that is related to transgenders like a movie or tv show subscription.
- Do a giveaway of “trans” merch like notebooks, mugs, stuff toys, that have the transgender flag and the trans awareness week message of your choice.
- Ask for a policy if your company is still not allowing trans people to use the bathroom that they identify with.
- Have the HR team do a trans awareness week orientation on how to treat trans colleagues properly.
- Do charity drives for oppressed and disowned trans individuals who are suffering from poverty and homelessness.
3. How to participate as a trans individual
Please know that you can do this in many different ways. Below’s just a list of suggestions.
- Discuss with your closest friends about transgender issues that they may not be aware of.
- Look fabulous the whole week and bless your friends’ timelines of how amazing you are and include the hashtags #TransAwarenessWeek and #TransAwarenessWeek2021.
- Do transgender flag makeup tutorials and share them on your timeline.
- Share your story with your trials and tribulations as a trans person and how you’ve overcome all of them in an inspiring way. This can be done by video, a meme, or a status post.
4. How to celebrate if you’re a non-trans or a cisgender individual
If you don’t belong to the community but you’re a trans rights advocate, your circle of cisgender people may be bigger and they’re the ones who need more education about transgender issues that are often trivialized by many.
- Proudly share on all your social media platforms that you’re a trans ally and use the hashtags #TransAwarenessWeek and #TransAwarenessWeek2021.
- If you know anyone transphobic, have an intervention with them and share how damaging their notions are about innocent people who don’t deserve to be treated unequally.
- Share some articles or any media references about the trans awareness week.
- Attend an online event or offline (if you’re vaccinated and it’s available near you) to show your support as a true ally.
This year is still challenging for most people, but every year is a challenge to exist as a trans person. Do not stop until acceptance is the norm and trans people are not being excluded from society anymore.
Every day’s the best day to spread trans awareness!