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Transgender Day of Remembrance 2021

Trans Awareness Week is here, and we are proud to celebrate and support our trans students and staff who identify both within the gender binary and outside of it! Transgender Awareness week is an annual one-week celebration leading up to Transgender Day of Remembrance (held on 20 November), which memorialises victims of transphobic violence and those who died by suicide.

This is a photo of the transgender pride flag. It is a light blue, pink and white pentacolour flag

Content warning: this article contains references to violence, murder and suicide.
 

What are Trans Awareness week & Trans Day of Remembrance and why are they important?

Trans Awareness Week is here, and we are proud to celebrate and support our trans students and staff who identify both within the gender binary and outside of it! Transgender Awareness week is an annual one-week celebration leading up to Transgender Day of Remembrance (held on 20 November), which memorialises victims of transphobic violence and those who died by suicide.

Trans Awareness week and Day of Remembrance are an important time for reflection and community, and to highlight the issues faced by trans, non-binary and gender diverse people. Now more than ever it is vitally important to support trans people, as the global and national picture sadly worsens for 2021. To set some context for this in figures: It is reported by TGEU that 2021 is set to be the deadliest year for trans and gender-diverse people around the world since they started collecting data, with 375 registered murders between 1 October 2020 and 30 September 2021. In the UK, the Home Office reports that there has been a huge rise in transphobic hate crime – a rise of 894%! – in the last decade. The Trans Lives Survey published by the UK charity TransActual in September 2021 found that 99% of trans people surveyed have experienced transphobia on social media, and 85% of trans women have reported being subjected to transphobic street harassment from strangers, with 71% of trans men and 73% of non-binary people reporting the same. You can read the full report from TransActual here. On Trans Day of Remembrance, we encourage you to take a moment to think of those whose lives have been lost due to transphobic violence and by suicide, and to do some research of your own into trans issues worldwide, nationally and in your own communities. If you would like to attend a local vigil, Trans Leeds are hosting an event at Park Square in Leeds, on 20 November at 18:00 – you can find more details listed here.
 

Three things you can do to support trans people during Trans Awareness Week and beyond

We believe that it is important for all of us to play our part in calling out transphobia wherever it happens and to take steps to make our communities welcome and inclusive for trans people. To get you started, we’ve suggested three things that you can do right now to support trans people in your communities:

1. Educate yourself on trans experiences

There are lots of resources out there for you to enjoy and to learn from – we particularly recommend resources created by trans people themselves who share their own lived experiences!

If you have a Netflix subscription, you can watch Disclosure, a documentary examining Hollywood’s depiction of transgender people and the impact this has had on the trans community and on wider culture.

If you’re a bit of a bookworm, you might like to pick up The Transgender Issue: An argument for Justice by Shon Faye, which is an enlightening read on the subject of trans liberation in the UK.

2. Use your voice to speak up!

You can be a good ally by sharing the knowledge you’ve learned with your friends and family to further awareness of the issues trans people can face, and to call out instances of transphobia. Use your voice to encourage sharing pronouns and to respect others’ identities.

3. Start a conversation on your course

You can speak to your Course Rep and your academic tutors about how you can ensure your studies are inclusive of all genders and give greater visibility to trans academics and perspectives. Just one conversation can spark ideas and changes to improve inclusivity for all!
 

Support for trans students

Here at the Students’ Union we have a responsibility to create a safe, inclusive and welcoming environment in our Union for all students.

If you are a student who identifies as LGBT+ you can join our LGBT+ Student Community, which is a safe space to meet likeminded Leeds Beckett students to celebrate and support others in the community to create positive, lasting change. You can find out more and join the community here.

If you’d like to socialise with other LGBT+ students at Leeds Beckett you can also join the Equals Society, more details of the society and how to join can be found here.

Trans Day of Remembrance can be a hard time for many trans people. If you are affected by anything you have read in this article, please don’t hesitate to reach out for support. You can find links to support below. If you have been a victim of a hate crime and would like to report it, you can contact our Advice Service, for completely free, impartial, and non-judgemental advice and reporting.
 

Support links

Leeds Beckett Students’ Union Advice Service

Leeds Beckett University Student Wellbeing

Leeds Survivor-Led Crisis Service Trans Support Group

In a life-threatening medical emergency call the emergency services by dialling 999 immediately.

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