NOVEMBER 20 IS THE TRANSGENDER DAY OF REMEMBRANCE.
This day is to we honor all the transgender and gender nonconforming people whose lives were lost due to acts of anti-transgender violence.
Every year TDOR, I write the same sentence: This year is the deadliest year on record. This year is no different. At least 375 transgender & gender nonconforming folks have been killed globally .
96% of folks killed were BIPOC trans feminine folks, who often experience trans misogynoir – the intersections of transphobia, misogyny, and anti-Blackness or racism.
STOPPING TRANS MURDERS IS EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY
You might read this and think, “Well, I’m not going to murder a trans person, so this doesn’t include me.” And you’d be wrong.
Transphobia is a societal, systemic problem. Which means it’s everyone’s responsibility to stop. Everyone who does not actively fight transphobia contributes to upholding it. In addition to record-numbers of murders, 2021 also saw a record-breaking amount of anti-trans legislation around the U.S.: over 100 anti-trans bills attacking trans kids this year. These bills not only impact trans folks under the law, but they also embolden hatred, contributing to anti-trans violence & murder.
Here are a few things you can do in your everyday life to fight transphobia and stop the epidemic of violence against trans people.
- USE TRANS FOLKS’ RIGHT NAME & PRONOUNS
Call all trans people the right name and pronouns. Always. This is the simplest, most impactful way to say that you support and respect us. This says “I see you, I care about making you feel comfortable.”
Providing this basic respect is a tool to help reduce societal transphobia, which will in turn help reduce the violence trans folks experience.
If you are cisgender (not transgender), introduce your pronouns whenever you introduce yourself: put your pronouns in your bio, in your email signatures, in your zoom handle. This helps dismantle the idea that we know people’s pronouns simply by how they look, and it creates a safe place for trans folks to share our pronouns, too. Learn more about why pronouns are so important here.
- STOP TELLING TRANSPHOBIC JOKES
I know you can find something better to joke about. It does not matter if you think they are “just jokes” or “just funny.” Jokes made at the expense of marginalized people in a system of oppression contribute to violence. They are not “just jokes” when trans folks are killed for being who we are.
Take a step further and call out people when they say transphobic jokes or make transphobic comments. Remember there is no such thing as an innocent bystander. Step up and stand up.
Visit this post to learn more about why jokes are not “just jokes.”
- DE-GENDER EVERYTHING
Clothes are just clothes. Pink is just a color. Menstrual products are not feminine. Make up is just an aesthetic product. Society unnecessarily genders everything and then holds everyone to specific standards that are not only limiting, but also often harmful. Clothes, makeup, body parts, and so on, should not be gendered. For example, if you work in medical fields, stop gendering your care – reproductive care is reproductive care, people with uteruses are people with uteruses.
De-gendering helps liberate everyone from harmful gender stereotypes, allowing us all to exist as exactly who we are and not who we think we are supposed to be.
Watch this reel to learn more about how harmful gender stereotypes can be.
- FIGHT TOXIC MASCULINITY
Trans folks are most often killed by cis men, due to toxic masculinity. Countless cis men have brought home a trans woman and then beat her to death upon learning of her transness. Toxic masculinity is often threatened by trans men and many trans men (including myself) receive death threats from cis men as a result.
Toxic masculinity hurts everyone, including cis men. There is no coincidence that (middle aged white cis) men are both more likely to complete suicide than any other demographic and, at the same time, less likely to seek help for mental illness.
Liberating ourselves from toxic masculinity through allowing boys and men to experience and to express our emotions & struggles is integral in stopping the murders of trans people and other violence perpetuated by toxic masculinity.
- SHARE YOUR ALLYSHIP WITH EVERYONE!
If you do not hold the identity of the people for which you are advocating, it is your responsibility to use your privilege to confront and fight the discrimination we experience. Stand up for us when we cannot. This means being open and proud about your allyship to the trans community.
If you are here reading this, I assume you care about trans folks. That’s wonderful. Thank you for engaging. Now, the real task begins when you run into transphobic people in your life, at work, in public, and you then have the opportunity to be an ally to other allies. Reach the people that trans people can’t even fathom reaching.
Visit pinkmantaray.com/allyship to learn more steps you can take to be the best ally you can be.
- REMEMBER THAT AWARENESS IS NOT ENOUGH
Trans Awareness Week is important, but it is not the end-goal. Action towards our respect, dignity, and freedom is. (And, it’s 2021. You are living under a rock if you don’t know transgender people exist.) Awareness is only productive when it is a step in a larger process to foster true acceptance and progress for trans people.
Today, know that this post should be a starting point, not a destination. From this awareness, keep learning. Please visit the link below to find more resources on becoming a better, more active ally.
LASTLY, FOLLOW TRANS CREATORS:
@pinkmantaray, he/him, the creator of this resource.
More recommendations here.