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Transgender Awareness Week

Transgender awareness week: November 13, 2022 - November 19, 2022

What is Transgender Awareness Week?

Each year, across the country, people and organizations participate in Transgender Awareness Week between November 13th-19th. This event is closely followed by the Transgender Day of Remembrance, on November 20th, which shows support for victims of transphobic violence.

Throughout the week, we honour the strength and resilience of the transgender community. Many individuals and groups across the country will advocate transgender rights through education, highlighting inequalities, and sharing stories and experiences about discrimination in their own or other people’s lives.

Transgender Awareness Week is also a great opportunity to better our knowledge on transgender vocabulary. Understanding the words and language people use encourages respect and understanding. It’s okay to make mistakes. Sometimes, even with the best intentions, we can still cause others offence without meaning to. That’s why the most important thing to remember is to approach all transgender people with respect. Something as simple as making the effort to ask a person what their pronouns are can make the world of difference.  

No matter what you identify as, Transgender Awareness Week welcomes all. You may have a relative or a friend who identifies as transgender, or you might simply just want to learn a little bit more about the community. Whatever reason it is, the week is designed to help raise visibility of the community, and raise awareness of the issues they face. You can show your support as a trans ally (or any minority group, for that matter) by taking a stand against oppression, bullying, and harassment. By taking the time to listen and learn, you’re already helping. Even simple acts like learning the appropriate terminology is a positive step forward.

Facts from Transgender Awareness Week

When we think of learning about something new, we always start with the facts, right? Well, in this case, there are loads of great information about the transgender and wider LGBTQ+ communities that can help you better your understanding.

Below, you’ll find a list of appropriate terms for addressing and discussing the transgender community as a whole.

  • Transgender: An umbrella term used to describe those whose gender identity does not correspond with, or sit comfortably with, the sex they were registered at birth. We can also use the shorthand trans. 
  • Non-Binary: People who experience their gender identity and/or gender expression as falling outside the categories of man and woman. Usually, these people use the pronouns they/them, although this is down to personal preference. 
  • Gender Non-Conforming: A term that describes people whose gender expression is different from ‘conventional’ expectations of masculinity and femininity. You should note that not all gender non-conforming people identify as transgender; nor vice versa.
  • Gender Identity: This refers to our sense of who we are and how we see and describe ourselves. Many people identify as "male" or "female". These are sometimes called "binary" identities. Some people feel their gender identity is different from their biological sex. 
  • Gender Expression: This refers to the way a person may choose to express their gender identity through things such as: a person’s name, pronouns, clothing, behaviour, voice, haircut, body characteristics and other physical features. Remember though, a person’s gender identity should not be assumed by their gender expression.  
  • Transition: A process a trans person may take to live in the gender they identify as. 
  • Cisgender: A person whose gender identity corresponds with their biological sex (e.g. a person who was assigned biologically male or female at birth, and continues to identify this way).

Click on this link for further information and resources for Transgender Awareness Week.