Transgender Awareness Week
|Transgender Awareness Week|
|Observed by||Transgender community and supporters|
|Related to||Transgender Day of Remembrance|
Transgender Awareness Week, typically observed the second week of November, is a one-week celebration leading up to Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), which memorializes victims of transphobic violence. TDOR occurs annually on November 20, when transgender advocates raise awareness of the transgender community through education and advocacy activities. The first week of November typically begins with third parties hosting events at venues (including online venues) surrounding a main central venue, followed the second week by more venues at the main area showcasing more and more in-depth events. The purpose of Transgender Awareness Week is to educate about transgender and gender non-conforming people and the issues associated with their transition or identity.
There have been many pivotal historical moments that relate to Transgender advocacy.
- 1952: Christine Jorgensen is featured in American national media – provided a large number of people with access to information about transgender issues for the first time as she was the first American publicly known to have had a sex change
- 1964: Trans man Reed Erickson creates the Erickson Educational Foundation – the first foundation to donate millions to promote transgender and gay equality
- 1972: Sweden legalizes gender reassignment – the first country to legally allow citizens to change sex
- 1979: A Change of Sex, the BBC documentary about male to female transgender person Julia Grant.
- 1986: Lou Sullivan founds FTM International – the first advocacy group for transgender men; the purpose was to challenge the popular idea that all trans men were gay
- 1998: Rita Hester's murder – murdered on November 20 because of gender identity; death lead to inspiration for the idea of the first International Transgender Day of Remembrance started by Gwendolyn Ann Smith
- 1999: The murder of PFC Barry Winchell for dating a trans-woman Calpernia Addams
- 1999: The first observance of International Transgender Day of Remembrance to commemorate victims of anti-transgender hate crimes
- 2002: Transgender Law Center founded – aimed to alter laws and opinions regarding transgender people so they could live a life without discrimination based on gender identity
- 2002: Sylvia Rivera Law Project founded – provides legal and educational services and works towards altering policies
- 2003: National Center for Transgender Equality founded – founded to progress the equality of transgender people through advocacy, collaboration, and empowerment
- 2012: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission declares transgender people protected against employment discrimination because of violations to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Participants in Transgender Awareness Week are urged to organize events that serve as educational opportunities to the community. One possible event is the screening of a trans-themed movie, such as the film Paris is Burning, which highlights gay and transgender ball culture in New York City. Another educational event is the personal testimonies of local transgender people and the issues they face because of their gender identity. "I AM: Trans People Speak" is a collection of videos regarding transgender people's personal testimonies that could be shown in place of a live testimony. Other potential events might revolve around the discussion of a trans-themed book or the observation of a trans-themed art show or performance.
Additional information with controversies
A study was conducted by the Williams Institute in June 2016 and concluded that 0.6% of the U.S. population (1.4 million) identify themselves as transgender. Trans people face many issues within their community that causes them to feel like they are in danger and are unsafe. A survey found that 50% of trans people claim to have been raped or assaulted by a romantic partner. Trans people have been murdered simply for being trans, in addition to their loved ones and/or friends because of being involved with them. Some trans women were arrested for fighting back against their attacker. Trans women and supporters formerly united with one another and took stands against discrimination towards trans people by holding riots. Transgender Awareness Week established in response to these killings and imprisonments in order to highlight the challenges faced by trans people.
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