the voice and vision of a new generation
GLAAD

A beginner's guide to Trans Awareness Week

November 14, 2018

Trans Awareness Week is a time for trans people and their allies to celebrate the trans community, shed light on the issues we face, and educate the public about the importance of our advocacy. This week leads up to the Trans Day of Remembrance that was created to remember the lives of trans people we have lost to violence against our communities.

One thing to keep in mind when centering the trans community is ensuring everyone’s voices are heard and represented. This includes trans people of color, trans people who identify outside the gender binary, and trans people with disabilities. Making sure that trans people from all walks of life have access to community is so important because it’s often trans folk with intersecting minority identities who face the bulk of the violence towards the community.

In America, trans women of color have a life expectancy of 35 years of age while that of their cisgender counterparts is around 78. This horrifying statistic is just one example why standing with all those in our trans community is essential to our survival.

Trans Awareness Week also serves as a time for trans people to celebrate who we are as a community. One way we share who we are with resilience is by honoring the meaning behind our trans pride flag. The trans pride flag we have today is comprised on three colors, pink, blue, and white. According to the creator of the flag, the blue is the represent those of masculine identity, the pink for those of feminine identity, and the white is for intersex individuals and those who identify outside the gender binary. Non-binary people like me have a place in the transgender community and it’s important to keep that in mind in events that center trans people.

For a long time, I wondered if I belonged in the trans community as a non-binary individual because I didn’t relate to the limited images of trans people I saw in the media. I experienced dysphoria in different ways, my coming out process was different, and I didn’t always feel accepted in the trans spaces I tried to seek refuge in.

Trans Awareness Week is a chance for me to celebrate my trans identity and show others that there are so many different and beautiful ways to carry a trans identity. I hope to provide that representation I lacked so younger non-binary people don’t have to question their place in the community.

This year, I’m excited to be hosting a Trans Awareness Week event at my campus because I think it’s important to have spaces created for trans people by trans people to share space and move forward. Visibility is so important because I want non trans identified people at my school to learn ways to be better allies and have access to resources and education that might help combat ignorance and I encourage others to create or uplift spaces like this in their communities as well.

From November 12-November 19, trans people and their allies will be holding events and rallies, posting to social media, and heightening the visibility of the trans community and it’s important participate or support for those who have the capacity. GLAAD has created resources for trans individuals and their allies that you can view on their website.

Ose Arheghan is a GLAAD Campus Ambassador and first year at Ohio State University studying political science and sexuality studies. Ose is the 2017 GLSEN Student Advocate of the Year and The Matthew Shepard Foundation's 2018 Spirit of Matthew Honoree. 

the voice and vision of a new generation