“With so many seeking to erase transgender people – sometimes in the most brutal ways possible – it is vitally important that those we lost are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice.” – Transgender Day of Remembrance Founder Gwendolyn Ann Smith
Every year, the month of November is dedicated to increasing awareness about the issues that face transgender individuals. With the transgender community continuously battling work discrimination, unequal legislation, public societal discrimination, media stereotyping, and hate crimes, the fight for equal rights and protections at times seems insurmountable. Happily, there are advocates and allies that work tirelessly to bring transgender issues to the forefront, not just in November, but every day of the year.
November is the month in which the Transgender Day of Remembrance is held; it’s a day to honor those lost to violence at the hands of bigotry and hate. Rallies, educational programs, and fundraisers are held this month to raise awareness about the transgender community and to unite various groups with a singular cause. Activism and outreach is amplified this month in order to unify transgender rights advocates and allies as a more powerful force for justice and change.
Right now, our partners at the Rainbow Bracelet Project are donating $1 from every bracelet sold to the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), an organization
dedicated to advancing the equality of transgender people. The Rainbow Bracelet Project continually supports LGBT groups by raising awareness and funds for their causes, and this November they are paying particular attention to transgender rights groups in honor of Transgender Awareness Month.
The National Center for Transgender Equality has been at the forefront of the transgender rights movement for the last decade. They focus on all facets of transgender injustice including discrimination in education, and the workplace as well as in homelessness, economic inequality, health care, hate crimes, and more. Here are a few harrowing statistics about transgender discrimination from NCTE:
- “[Survey] respondents lived in extreme poverty. Our sample was nearly four times more likely to have a household income of less than $10,000/year compared to the general population.”
- 41% of respondents reported attempting suicide compared to 1.6% of the general population. Reasons for this were mostly attributed to bullying, sexual and physical assault, and workplace discrimination.
- “53% of respondents reported being verbally harassed or disrespected in a place of public accommodation, including hotels, restaurants, buses, airports, and government agencies.”
- 57% of respondents experienced significant family rejection.
- 50% of survey respondents reported being harassed in the workplace, and 26% lost their job due to being transgender.
- 19% (one fifth) of all respondents reported experiencing homelessness at least once in their life. 55% experienced harassment from staff and residents of homeless shelters, and 29% were turned away all together.
- 19% of respondents reported having been refused a home or apartment because they are transgender.
These are just a handful of the statistics that illustrate the ways in which transgender people are discriminated against in myriad ways every single day. Raising awareness about these issues is a critical step in achieving justice and equality for people of all genders, gender presentations, and orientations.
This month, you can participate in raising awareness about transgender rights by taking part in local programs, educating yourself more about the issues at hand, and by spreading the word about advocacy groups like GLAAD or the National Center for Transgender Equality. You can also visit the Rainbow Bracelet Project online to purchase a bracelet and help support programs that increase transgender awareness.