This Monday marks the start of Transgender Awareness Week 13 - 17 November. This is to help raise visibility of transgender and gender non-conforming individuals, and to address the issues both these communities face.
A person identifies as Transgender when they believe that their personal gender identity does not correspond with their birth sex. Being transgender is independent of sexual orientation. The phrase transgender can also be regarded as an umbrella term: including people whose gender identity is the opposite of their assigned sex (trans men and trans women), and it may include people who are not exclusively masculine or feminine (genderqueer / non-binary, e.g. bigender, pangender, genderfluid, or agender).
Transgender Day of Remembrance, was started in 1999 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a transgender woman. It was founded after a trans woman of colour, Rita Hester was killed. The day occurs annually on the 20 November, and is a day to remember those who have lost their lives as a result of anti-transgender violence, and to bring attention to the continued violence endured by the transgender community. It originally started out as a web-based project, which then started to host events in the physical world and is now observed in over 185 cities around the world, as well as being officially recognised in 20 countries. All these countries and cities host events marking Transgender Day of Remembrance. These events can include art shows, film screenings, question and answering sessions, marches and more.
The day is also an intersectional feminist event, which seeks to highlight the interconnectedness of race, gender, social class, sex worker status and more. All these things when put together can significantly affect a transgender person’s likelihood of experiencing violence or discrimination.
How to get involved
This week the UWELGBTplus Society will be hosting various events throughout the week, including: a Healthcare Panel with UoB, a presentation on Transgender Awareness and Education, a transgender film night, a non-alcoholic coffee meet-up with UoB at Boston Tea Party, transgender themed Student Night with Queenshilling, and a transgender Questioning and Answering session. The aim of these events is also to further discussion of transgender and non-binary related issues within the wider community, as well as at UWE.
The lead contact for Transgender Awareness Week is Mike Reid, the current Trans Officer for UWELGBTplus. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any questions, or want to get involved, please feel free to email.
To view dates and times of events this week, check out the UWELGBT+ events guide.