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The Importance of Transgender Awareness Week and How to Get Involved

Transgender Awareness Week calls for celebration and action! Find out how you can make a real difference for trans youth.

Imagine a world where everyone is free to be who they are – that’s the spirit we’re celebrating during Transgender Awareness Week this year.

Every November, for a week leading up to the Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20th, we focus on how we can support and uplift those who identify as transgender. We remember those we’ve lost to violence and discrimination, but also celebrate the courage and achievements of transgender individuals.

Sarah remembers how 10th grade was a catalyst for change. That’s when they began identifying as queer and later found the trans community. It was a life changer to be able to see those who had similar experience, were trying to figure out their own way and led Sarah to begin really exploring gender identity. Now, Sarah is a member of the Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) Transgender Student Rights Advisory Committee, trying to do their part to pay it forward.

“The bottom line is that trans youth need to be able to see themselves. They need the resources to understand how they feel, explore their identities, and find others like them. Trans youth should not grow up believing that they are sick or broken or alone. Transgender Awareness Week is a vital platform for jump-starting the type of education and change that will make it possible for transgender and gender nonconforming people to find the resources and support that they need.”

Sarah, GLSEN Transgender Student Rights Advisory Committee Member

That makes this week the perfect opportunity for teens, parents, and allies to come together, to celebrate, learn, and stand together with our amazing transgender friends and family members.

Whether you’re a teen discovering your true self, a parent offering love and support, or an ally looking to make a difference, this week is for all of us to shine a light on understanding and acceptance.

Let’s start by celebrating and supporting with this Teen Vogue video that features heart warming and supportive messages for transgender youths.

Trans Kids, You Are a Gift to The World. Don’t Let Anyone Tell You Otherwise | Teen Vogue

This week is a chance for young transgender people to share their stories. For friends, parents, and allies, this week is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about what it means to be transgender. You’ll find out how to be the best supporter and understand the challenges trans youth face. It’s also about standing together. Whether you’re transgender or an ally, this week reminds us that we’re all part of one big, supportive community.

How to talk (and listen) to transgender people | Jackson Bird

How can you get involved?

Getting involved can be fun and meaningful!

Whether you identify as transgender, or an ally, there’s something you can do to help put more awareness, love and joy in the world:

  • Look for local events or online activities where you can be your most authentic self.
  • Create art or write about your experiences to celebrate your own uniqueness.
  • Wear a symbol of pride or support, like a pin or a bracelet.
  • Write a note to a transgender teen expressing your support.
  • Spend time this week learning more about transgender history and rights.

Even these small actions can let transgender youth know that you’re a safe space for them. And you never know how much of a difference that can make.

The impact of being an ally can have a strong ripple effect. Doing just a little research and taking time to educate yourself can create a completely different environment for someone who is struggling.

The Trevor Project’s latest survey helps give insight into the areas allies can focus on. Like reading and educating yourself on the importance of using the proper pronouns. Helping to make a more inclusive home for your kids or a sibling can have a huge impact.

Transgender and nonbinary young people who reported that all of the people they live with respect their pronouns reported lower rates of attempting suicide, according to The Trevor Project.

The same goes for teens.

27% of transgender and nonbinary young people reported that they have been physically threatened or harmed in the past year due to their gender identity, according to the Trevor Project. Showing a fellow young transgender student some love can make a huge difference about feeling like they have someone in their corner.

This week is about so much more than just a month on the calendar – it can be a beacon of hope for individuals who are not sure of the level of support they have around them. So, take the time and see how you can make an impact this week.

You may have a lot of questions, and that’s okay too. In fact, asking or educating yourself about those questions is a real sign that you’re willing to learn and that’s what makes a great ally.

A good place to start is this list of frequently asked questions for youth, and frequently asked questions for supportive adults from TransYouth Family Allies (TYFA). TYFA is an organization that plays a pivotal role in supporting transgender, gender variant, and gender-questioning children and their families.

Disclaimer: This website offers general information and is not a substitute for professional advice. We are not clinicians or trained professionals; this information should not replace seeking help from a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult a healthcare provider for personalized guidance.