This is the tail end of Transgender Awareness Week, which culminates on November 20 with Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR). While it’s important to recognize the struggles of trans people, it’s more important that we all do something to actually help. We need to celebrate survival and do everything in our power to make sure everyone has a fighting chance to weather the storms that are certain to come.
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All Month Long:
Everywhere: Know some resources for trans and gender-nonconforming (GNC) people.
Many transgender people are feeling vulnerable right now. No one is certain what the outcomes will be in the ongoing struggle for equal access to public facilities, accurate documentation, health care, and protections from discrimination. Fortunately, there are some great support systems out there that you can access and share.
Trans Youth Equality Foundation advocates for the needs of trans and GNC children and their families. They also provide educational support for trans youth, allies, parents, and schools. Tools like this introductory guide to binding for trans guys makes this a great organization for young trans folks to be aware of.
ACLU and Lambda Legal are always working for the rights of LGBTQ people, providing a number of services to help you stay informed and to support advocacy efforts. The ACLU is also involved in the Supreme Court case that may decide the fate of trans students’ access to school facilities. If you’ve experienced discrimination, you can reach out to the ACLU or contact Lambda Legal to see what actions you may be able to take.
My Trans Health can help you find medical support in your area.
If you are trans and in need of support, reach out to LGBTQ groups in your area. They may be able to help you directly. If that’s not an option, reach out to national organizations like Human Rights Campaign, National Center for Transgender Equality, and GLAAD for more information.
We’re looking at a TransGiving feast in Long Beach, CA; hoping for pleasant weather at a genderqueer picnic in Tucson, AZ; and looking forward to a Trevor Project training coming up in Cortland, NY.
Saturday, November 19
Boston, MA: Listen to the trans community at TDOR @ Northeastern.
2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
John D. O’Bryant African American Institute, 40 Leon Street, Boston, MA 02115
In advance of Boston’s Transgender Day of Remembrance event on Sunday, there will be a panel discussion featuring four speakers from the transgender community. They’ll share their personal insights on the state of the trans community and discuss what the increased visibility of transgender individuals means for the future. This is an ideal opportunity to find out how you can support the Boston trans community and learn what the reality is for people out there. The event is free, but be sure to register in advance to reserve seating.
Sunday, November 20
Long Beach, CA: Get with family and get fed at TransGiving Dinner.
5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
514 West Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach, CA 90806
TDOR has come to mean more than just remembering victims of violence. In many communities, it’s also a call to celebrate and support the trans community. Holidays can be rough for those who have been ostracized or abandoned by the family they were born into. The chosen family of a community can and should be there for each other. To that end, Unique Woman’s Coalition and The ADAM Project are hosting an early Thanksgiving-style feast for trans people and their friends and family. It’s a chance to connect, eat, and share some love. The evening will also include a ceremony in honor of the people who lost their lives to violence this year. The feast is free, but please register so the organizers know how many they need to feed.
Tucson, AZ: Enjoy a safe space for all genders at GENDERowdy Family Picnic & Play Day.
12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Himmel Park Amphitheater, 1000 North Tucson Boulevard, Tucson, AZ 85716
For five years, GENDERowdy has hosted a day for trans, GNC, and genderqueer people to have some fun in the sun with their friends and family. They make sure the space out there is safe for everyone to be themselves while they all enjoy a giant picnic. Attendees are encouraged to bring food to share, and there are outdoor activities for the kids. Everything is free, and the organizers will have some fun things planned for everyone. You can find more information on the event’s Facebook page.
Wednesday, November 30
Cortland, NY: Be an ally to at-risk LGBTQ youth at a Trevor Project CARE Training.
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Location TBD / Available after registration
The Trevor Project is a valuable resource that helps LGBTQ youth who may be contemplating suicide. With a national hotline and a plethora of opportunities to plug in, the organization also provides training for members of the public who want to help. This series of CARE trainings is designed for adults who work with youth. Sessions will be held on November 30, December 7, and December 14. Even if you’re not an adult, you can encourage your teachers and other adults who could be a source of support to attend the trainings. There are a number of ways to get involved, from volunteering to simply spreading the word that the Trevor Project is out there for anyone who needs it.
I hope we all continue to listen to the voices of trans and GNC activists well beyond the end of Transgender Awareness Week. We have to. There will be tough challenges ahead as we grapple with what it will take for all people to be secure and free. The list of names that will be read at vigils around the world on Sunday is the call to action, like it has been for years. We can no longer be bystanders as trans folks fight for their survival. We have to be there for each other every step of the way. Whether that means calling down a storm or bringing out the sun, we need you!