13th – 19th November 2022
For this year’s Trans Awareness Week we want to offer you a guide to trans people and their identities, while addressing the issues the trans and gender diverse community continues to face.
It is important to remember that there is no ‘right way’ to be trans. Trans people’s identities are complex and unique to each person. It is impossible to narrow all their experiences down to one.
Issues Facing Trans People
Every trans and gender diverse person deserves to feel accepted, loved, and heard. However, not everyone does. Many trans people, especially trans youth, experience mental health issues , often caused by persistent mistreatment and discrimination. Meanwhile, studies have shown that over half of LGBTQ+ people did not receive the mental health support they requested, with discrimination compounding the effects of discrimination. Gender-affirming healthcare and external support have been shown to improve the well-being of trans people, yet many governments, for reasons of political expediency or backward ideology, block progress.
The Trevor Project, an LGBTQ+ youth suicide prevention and support organisation, found that 45% of LGBTQ+ youth have considered attempting suicide in this past year.
This number decreased by half when queer and trans youth felt the support from their family.
Meanwhile, fewer than a third of trans and non-binary youth found their home to be gender-affirming…
The Trevor Project has created a Guide to Being an Ally to Transgender and Non-binary Youth. It gives an insight with educational purposes, covering topics on how to help and support young trans and non-binary people.
Tips on How to Be a Better Ally
Here are some simple tips on how to be a better ally to trans people everywhere. If you are not trans and you want to be supportive, make sure to:
- Respect trans people’s identities, without questioning or invalidating them.
- Use the correct gender and pronouns when referring to a trans person.
- Refrain from outing them to anyone else, unless you have their consent.
- Never ask intrusive, inappropriate, and personal questions relating to a trans person’s body, especially their genitals or medical procedures.
- Stand up for trans people’s rights because Trans Rights Are Human Rights!
Trans and gender diverse people around the world continue to be marginalised, especially within the healthcare system. Accessing gender-affirming healthcare treatment and legally changing one’s gender is still difficult.
US states prohibit trans people from changing their birth certificates, gender reveal parties reinforce a socially constructed gender binary, endangering those around them, trans healthcare services are being targeted, and discrimination within the workplace continues to exist. These are only some of the issues the trans community has to deal with on a daily basis. Therefore, it is necessary to fight towards trans equality, ensuring that this community can live their lives as freely and safely as possible.
Let’s all make an effort this Trans Awareness Week! Whether we are trans and gender diverse, or CIS, let’s think of what we can do to make a better and fairer society for the trans community.