Members of the transgender community and their allies recognize Transgender Awareness Week the second week of November of each year which gives them an opportunity to connect and share stories about the challenges they face every day. It is also a chance for anyone who supports the transgender community to educate the public and have awareness raising events across the country.
Being transgender and its challenges
Nearly 700,000 adults in the United States publically identify as transgender which is a term that describes people whose gender identity or expression does not match the sex they were assigned with at birth. How a person communicates their gender identity through dress, behavior, voice or body characteristics is called their gender expression. These individuals experience a disconnect between their assigned sex and their internal sense of who they are.
Research has shown that transgender people are at a high risk of experiencing discrimination, attacks and suicide. 65 percent of transgender people have suffered physical or sexual violence at work and 78 percent have suffered physical or sexual violence at school. Discrimination is the leading cause of suicide among transgender people. The Suicide Prevention Resource Center reports that more than 83 percent of transgender people had thought about suicide and 54 percent had attempted it.
How to show support this week
Here are a few ways you can support the transgender community this week:
- Seek out stories by transgender creators: Learn about people who identify as transgender and read more about their stories.
- Call your local LGBTQ center: Ask what kind of help they need. This would be a great volunteer opportunity.
- Educate yourself: Learn the basic terminology surrounding the transgender community. Learning the terms helps you be inclusive as possible.
Transgender Day of Remembrance
Every year on November 20, the Transgender Day of Remembrance is held for people who have lost their lives as a result of anti-transgender violence. It is a day to draw attention to the continued violence transgender people endure.
If you or a loved one are experiencing abuse and need assistance, self-help resources are available via www.texaslawhelp.org. If you or a loved one are in need of an attorney or would like to explore other resources, you can utilize if they are being abused, you can visit the Texas Crime Victim Legal Assistance Network.
Lone Star Legal Aid is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit law firm focused on advocacy on behalf of low-income and underserved populations. Lone Star Legal Aid serves the millions of people at 125% of federal poverty guidelines that reside in 72 counties in the eastern and Gulf Coast regions of Texas, and 4 counties of southwest Arkansas. Lone Star Legal Aid focuses its resources on maintaining, enhancing, and protecting income and economic stability; preserving housing; improving outcomes for children; establishing and sustaining family safety and stability, health and well‐being; and assisting populations with special vulnerabilities, like those who have disabilities, or who are elderly, homeless, or have limited English language skills. To learn more about Lone Star Legal Aid, visit our website at www.lonestarlegal.org.
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