Trans Awareness Month

By Jaime Parris

“Trans Awareness Month? Didn’t we just have Pride last month?” What makes Trans Awareness Month different from Pride is that TAM is more of a somber time for the transgender community. It’s because we are struggling with what the rest of LGBT community have already moved beyond from: The hate crimes, murders, legislation that discriminates against us, and even members of the LGBT community refusing to acknowledge or help us after years of the transgender community helping and supporting them. Don’t forget feminists who refuse to respect trans-people for who they are. “Good” pro-family groups who uses their religion to justify hating us. And…

November is a mournful slog for the transgender community. If not seeing an almost weekly update on your social media timeline about another trans-woman being murdered for daring to exist doesn’t make the whole year feel like the month of November. The Trans Awareness Month is only 20 days long. On November 20th, it is Transgender Day of Remembrance. This year will be the 20th anniversary of Transgender Day of Remembrance. The day was founded by Gwendolyn Ann Smith to memorialized the death of Rita Hester. Rita Hester was a trans-woman of color who was killed because she was transgender. More things change…

There is a Trans Awareness Week. That is seven days, 13th to 19th of November, leading up to Transgender Day of Remembrance. This week is almost like Pride. Except it’s less festive, but companies like to glom on to it to peddle their wares. They are mostly medical clinics and health care organizations. Maybe, we’ll get Macy to throw a blue, pink, and white bone to us one of these days.

Despite all my cynicism and reluctance to hear the names and cause of deaths of my trans-sisters and trans-brothers this year. I will go to Transgender Day of Remembrance. I can’t defeat trans-phobia unless I experience first hand the casualties that trans-phobia has claimed. They are the reasons why my visibility is important. Why I have to stand up to trans-phobia. Even when it’s just a silly meme online. A bad joke is a bad joke. People believing that there is truth to the bad joke is something else. That is what needs to be combated.

I wished this month was an opportunity to strut down the middle of the street wearing a blue, pink, and white showgirl costume with my pre-op bulge proudly showing. It’s not that type of event. It’s about education. It’s about reflection. It’s about mourning. Besides, it will be too cold to wear such a flamboyantly skimpy outfit like that in November.

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