Monday November 14 marks the start of Transgender Awareness Week, a campaign by transgender individuals and their allies to raise awareness of the transgender community, its stories and experiences, and the continuing need to advocate for transgender rights.
Transgender Awareness Week is observed before Transgender Day of Remembrance, every year on Nov. 20, which commemorates those lost to anti-trans violence.
Trans visibility has increased in the U.S. and around the world thanks to work by advocates and public figures like Laverne Cox, Elliot Page, and Michaela Jae Rodriguez. A Gallup poll from 2021 (as reported by the LGBTQ+ media advocacy organization, GLAAD), found that while 68% of Americans surveyed did not believe they have encountered someone who is transgender, 50% of Americans under 30 reported knowing someone who is transgender – suggesting that, for younger Americans “are … much more likely to have a personal relationships with transgender people.”
However, members of the transgender community face obstacles due to discrimination and continuing social stigmatization. According to data released by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), transgender individuals are more likely than other persons to experience violence and harassment, elevated levels of poverty, and problems accessing healthcare and legal documents that match their gender identities.
In the past few years, lawmakers in states with conservative legislatures have passed numerous bills limiting trans participation in school athletics and access to healthcare for trans youth.
They have also made strides in politics, including in this month’s midterm elections. Last week, New Hampshire Democrat James Roesener became the first trans man elected to a state legislature.
To continue raising awareness of trans experiences, issues, and concerns, GLAAD is encouraging individuals to complete the 2022 U.S. Trans Survey from the National Center for Transgender Equality.