Transgender Awareness Week

Celebrated each year, Transgender Awareness Week is a vital opportunity to advocate for the visibility, protection, dignity and rights of trans, non-binary and gender-expansive people around the world. The week culminates on November 20 with Transgender Day of Remembrance, an annual observance honoring the victims of the fatal epidemic of anti-transgender violence that disproportionately targets trans women of color. Sadly there has been 26 transgender or gender non-conforming people killed this year that we are aware of.

Overall, 1.8% of youth identified as transgender. The almost 2% prevalence rate is more than double the previously available estimate of 0.7%.

Transgender youth reported significantly increased rates of depression, suicidality, and victimization compared to their cisgender peers

To mark Trans Awareness Week, HRC’s Transgender and Gender-Expansive Employee Resource Group has some important reminders to know about how to support the transgender community.

1. When you meet one transgender person… you’ve only met one transgender person.

There is not just one sweeping transgender experience. The term “transgender” describes a collective community of individuals whose gender identities, expressions and/or lived experiences differs from what is typically associated with the sex they were assigned at birth. Trans people have different stories and narratives that make them who they are.

2. Everyone has different personal boundaries.

Refrain from asking transgender people personal questions about their bodies, surgeries and other aspects about their transition process unless you have their consent to do so. And, just because a trans person might have talked with you about one personal topic doesn’t mean they want to discuss everything. And, remember: Different people have different boundaries.

3. Non-binary people can identify as transgender or cisgender -- or neither -- and that’s OK.

Non-binary describes individuals who do not identify exclusively as men or women, or who do not identify as either at all. A non-binary person may also use the terms genderqueer, gender fluid, gender non-conforming or others to describe their gender identity. It’s essential to always respect the terms that someone uses to describe themselves.

4. There is no “right” way to be trans.

Trans people are everywhere and as diverse as the fabric of our nation. They live and work in every town, study at school, shop for the best deals at the mall -- or hunt for the best avocados in the produce aisle at your grocery store. You can’t tell if someone is trans just by looking at them, and there is no one, universal way that all trans people live their truths. Not all trans people want surgery or hormones, and no one is more or less trans because of it. Trans people have always been here and #WontBeErased.

For more information about how to support trans, non-binary and gender-expansive people, check out hrc.org/Transgender.

Resources in Monmouth County:

LGBTQ Center for Health and Wellness

Gen-Spectrum Group for Trans & Gender Non-Conforming Teens

LGBTQ Support and Social Group - Monmouth County - Middletown NJ Chapter

Family Spectrum: For adult family members of LGBTQIA+ youth

Project R.E.A.L. (Real Empowerment on All Levels)

The Monmouth County Consortium for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning Youth is an umbrella organization of concerned and determined educators, community leaders, arts and cultural organizations, businesses and individuals who are are pooling resources and ideas to make it better with education, outreach, and social opportunities for our LGBTQ youth.

Garden State Equality - Main Headquarters

Trans+ Youth Resources: NJ ID Guide (2017)

Other sites that are great resources:

National Center for Transgender Equality : https://transequality.org/

Trevor Project: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/ TrevorLifeLife 1-866-488-7386

Trans Lifeline  https://www.thetrevorproject.org/ hotline 877-565-8860

GLAAD Resource List https://www.glaad.org/transgender/resources

Trans youth Equality Foundation http://www.transyouthequality.org/

Family Acceptance Project http://familyproject.sfsu.edu/