Transgender men and women often face discrimination, bigotry and hatred from their families, friends and coworkers. These harsh reactions usually stem from fear and a basic misunderstanding of the transgender community. By being an ally and showing your support of transgender people, you are doing your part to help end ignorance surrounding transgender issues.
Here are some tips provided by the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) on how you can increase transgender awareness:
1. Look at your favorite organization's policies and ensure that transgender people are welcome to join your country club, your work union or your book group.
2. Volunteer to help get a transgender-supportive candidate elected.
3. Ask your local film festival to include films inclusive of transgender issues.
4. Work to pass a non-discrimination policy in your workplace. Slightly less than one-third of Americans live in a jurisdiction with laws that ban employment discrimination based on gender identity and expression.
5. Submit an op-ed to your local paper about the transgender community. This is an effective way to express opinions and distribute information on transgender issues from a variety of voices.
6. Plan or attend a Day of Remembrance Event every November 20. This is a yearly opportunity to remember those lost to hate-motivated violence directed towards the transgender community, and also a time to encourage people to take action to make the world safer.
7. Start or attend a transgender support or education group in your neighborhood. These groups are often a vital way that transgender people connect with one another.
8. Encourage fair, accurate and inclusive media coverage of transgender issues. Many people learn about transgender people from watching television or reading stories in the newspaper. GLAAD encourages journalists to use its Media Reference Guide when writing about transgender issues. If you see transgender people being misrepresented in the media, contact us at glaad.org.
The National Center for Transgender Equality is a national social justice organization devoted to ending discrimination and violence against transgender people through education and advocacy on national issues of importance to transgender people.