Today is the start of Transgender Awareness Week, which is a series of events being held in various locales in the runup to the Transgender Day of remembrance on November 20.
This one is coming at a best of times worst of times moment for the transgender community in the United States. While we just celebrated the first Veterans Day in which our trans service members can openly serve our country. It was preceded by a contention election in which Donald Trump won in a shocking upset and the human rights progress we made under President Obama is now threatened..
In a few weeks we will have a Black trans woman in Laverne Cox playing a trans character on a scripted legal drama, but before that happens we will on November 20 read the names of 23 trans lives who are no longer here, with many of those trans people we lost being under 40 and African-American.
As the late trans leader Alexander John Goodrum said in 2000, “When transgendered people are denied rights, it’s often the because of the perception that they’re homosexual. With gay people, it’s often as not because they’re perceived to be violating gender norms. It’s the same fight against the same enemies. GLBT people have to realize that in order to move ahead.”
Our allies need to recognize that point as well. It’s why Transgender Awareness Week and the educational efforts happening during it are not only needed, but necessary.