Back in the mists of time, before Facebook, most people were unaware that gender diverse people existed. For certain gender diverse people were aware of their own existence, but many thought they were alone. Different. Now it is safe to say that the world is finally aware of trans people. The terminology used is commonplace, yet trans people are still not accepted in society. They still experience denial, discrimination, and abuse daily here in the UK and across the world. With increased visibility it seems comes increased hatred.
What is Transgender Awareness Week
Transgender Awareness Week is an opportunity for trans* people and their allies to raise awareness of the challenges facing trans people. A time when allies can step up and address those challenges. Every moment of authenticity is one which can and should be celebrated. Every moment of bullying, harm, discrimination, and hatred should be challenged.
Why do we need it?
Have you heard the term Gender Euphoria? This is the fantastic experiencing when your gender identity is in alignment. A moment, a sustained moment, a lifetime of being authentic. Euphoria brings mental wellbeing.
The more people are aware of the blocks to euphoria created by discrimination or simply outdated systems the easier it becomes to challenge and to drive positive change.
Fly the Trans Flag
There is a simple way you can drive positive change. You can create an environment where it becomes easier for trans* people to be authentic. All you need to do is Fly the Trans Flag during this week. Change your Facebook frame, put your flag in your window or behind the desk. Make the voice of allies as loud as possible. Go further, help us directly support trans and non-binary adults by donating to our campaign page here.
Why am I doing it?
Yesterday I attended a Remembrance Sunday service and together with the rest of the congregation I shared in a moment where we thought of others, thought of those outside ourselves. We held in our hearts compassion, hope, a vision for the future.
Today I ask you to access those feelings, to share in your hearts a moment of euphoria. An understanding of how absolutely amazing it is to be authentic. When you are mentally healthy your horizons become clear. You can hope and dream, make friends more easily, find love and acceptance. It is easier to study and work, you can give it your all. With mental wellbeing comes physical drive and ambition. It is easier to access those pools of energy, that clarity of thought that comes from clearing the mud of shame and trauma away.
Talking promotes wellbeing
Two weeks ago, I was at an event and an old friend asked me what I did. There ensued a discussion about respect and acceptance. How easy it was to include someone who was trans by recognising that the use of someone’s pronouns empowers them. From that conversation someone gained the power to reach out for our support. Another person empowered to seek mental wellbeing. This is wonderful.
This week ends with Transgender Day of Remembrance. A day when trans* people and their allies around the world gather to remember trans and gender diverse people murdered in the last year. This year 375 people will be remembered, horrific evidence of the increase in transphobia globally, felt so keenly here in the UK.
Every year I call on those who join us to reflect on the memories. We who join together in sadness can take strength from each other to look beyond this time. Because change is coming. No matter how hard the world is trans* people will transition. The drive to be authentic, to survive and to thrive overcomes all challenges.
Change is Coming
Every year Chrysalis grows, we have more members, we have more allies. We know that no matter the challenges trans* people will seek mental wellbeing and we will rise to that challenge.
Join us on Saturday 20th November at our Transgender Day of Remembrance service to remember those whose lives have been taken from them. Then join us on Saturday 27th November to find out how Chrysalis is leading that change.