This week is Transgender Awareness Week which is designed to help raise the visibility of transgender people and highlight issues that members of the transgender community face.
Transgender Awareness Week is a time where transgender people and their allies draw attention to the transgender community and the challenges it faces, educate the wider general public, and share personal stories and experiences.
According to the LGBT in Britain – Trans Report published by Stonewall in 2017, a quarter (25%) of transgender people have experienced homelessness and one in seven (14%) of transgender people are not open about their gender identity to anyone in their family. This highlights some of the significant challenges that the transgender community face.
Transgender Awareness Week precedes Transgender Day of Remembrance which takes place every year on November 20. Transgender Day of Remembrance was started in 1999 by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith to honour the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who willed in 1998. Transgender Day of Remembrance honours transgender and gender non-conforming people who have been killed in acts of transphobic violence.
As a Trust, one of our values is ‘respectful and kind’ and we believe that it is important that everyone is treated with dignity and respect. We recognise however that that is not always the experience that transgender people experience.
Below are just some of the things that we can all do to be supportive and respective of all people, including those who are transgender:
Respect people’s names and pronouns
Use the name and pronouns that a person tells you to use.
Don’t make assumptions about a transgender person’s sexual orientation
It’s important to remember that gender identity is different to sexual orientation. Gender identity is about our personal identity and sense of being, whether that’s male, female or neither of those binary genders. Sexual orientation is about who we’re attracted to.
Don’t ask a transgender person what their “real name” is
For many transgender people, being asked what their birth name can trigger feelings of anxiety, stress, and upset or is often a part of their life which they want to leave in the past. Always be sure to respect the name and pronouns a transgender person tells you to use.
You can find out more about how to be a open-minded, supportive trans ally here
You can find out more about Transgender Awareness Week and Transgender Day of Remembrance here.
Local Support in Gloucestershire
Below are some local and national support groups and organisations: