Transgender Awareness Week Is Almost Over, But The Fight For Transgender Equality Persists

Each year, Transgender Awareness Week is November 13-19.  It’s a time for transgender people and their allies to highlight the community, share their stories and talk about the issues they face daily such as discrimination in health care, housing, workplace, at school, in restaurants, restrooms, airport, and interactions with law enforcement.  It’s a chance to educate the public as only one in four Americans know a transgender person.

Did you know that:

  • Statistics from GLSEN show that in schools, 16.2% of transgender students report being physically assaulted as a result of gender expression, while 32.5% experience physical harassment.
  • NBC stated that approximately 40% of transgender adults reported attempted suicide in their lifetimes.
  • American Academy of Pediatrics exposed alarming levels of attempted suicide among transgender youth:  more than half among transgender boys and non-binary youth and 29.9% female teens said they attempted suicide.
  • According to the Human Rights Campaign, the American Medical Association has described an “epidemic” against transgender people.  In 2018, two dozen people were killed, mostly women of color.  These statistics may be low as police, media, and family members sometimes misgender victims.

What YOU can do as an ALLY:

  • Volunteer at a LGBT office.
  • Read about the struggles that transgendered adults have faced before and after transitioning in such books as SHE’S NOT THERE: A LIFE IN TWO GENDERS by Jennifer Finney Boylan (2013: Broadway Books).  Jennifer, formerly James, is an op-ed columnist for THE NEW YORK TIMES and teaches at Barnard College.
  • Watch television to see how transgendered individuals are portrayed: firsts in modeling, acting, boxing, government.
  • If you’re in school, has a “Trans Action Kit” for what you can do to educate and support the transgender community.
  • Know your pronouns.  If in doubt, ask the Trans individuals what they would like to be called.

When Transgender Awareness Week ends on November 19th, it culminates the next day in TRANSGENDER DAY OF REMEMBRANCE (TDOR), an annual observance throughout the world that honors the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence this year.  For more info. about TRANSGENDER DAY OF REMEMBRANCE, visit

When Your Child is Gay

When Your Child Is Gay: What You Need To Know

For more detailed advice, see book, co-authored with a mother of a gay son and a psychiatrist, Jonathan L. Tobkes, M.D.

Wesley Cullen Davidson

Wesley Cullen Davidson is an award-winning freelance writer and journalist specializing in parenting as well as gay and lesbian content. For the past two years, Wesley has concentrated almost exclusively on the lesbian and gay community, specifically on advising straight parents of gay children on how to be better parents and raise happy, well-adjusted adults

Leave a Comment