Stories that Bynd Us: Transgender Awareness
Can you tell us about Transgender awareness?
The purpose of Transgender Awareness is to educate society about transgender and gender non-conforming people and the issues associated with their transition or identity. Each year, between 13th of November and the 18th of November, people and organizations in multiple countries participate in Transgender Awareness Week. During this week, transgender people and their allies take action to bring attention to the community by educating the public about who transgender people are, sharing stories and experiences, and advancing advocacy around the issues of prejudice, discrimination, and violence that affect the transgender community. Finally, immediately after awareness week on the 20th November, the International Transgender Day of Remembrance takes place. On this day, we commemorate the hundreds of people who have been killed as a result of transphobia and draw attention to the violence against transgender people.
It would have made my situation much easier if I had known beforehand that all my worries were completely unnecessary.
Why is transgender awareness important to you and Bynder?
I think it is important to reflect on the events that transgender people have to deal with, since the majority of people are totally unaware of these events. Transgenders are usually much more vulnerable, experience a lot of stress and can be misunderstood. I remember how I felt really insecure and vulnerable a couple of years ago. I was really scared to tell colleagues, because I was afraid of their reaction, afraid of losing my job, afraid of getting bullied in the office, It would have made my situation much easier if I had known beforehand that all my worries were completely unnecessary. And I am definitely not the only one who has experienced such an event. I therefore highly encourage people and companies to become an ally.
How can others be an ally?
Be a listener, be open-minded, be willing to talk about the subject and be inclusive. Don't assume that all your friends and (co)workers are straight. Someone close to you could be looking for support in their coming-out process. Not making any assumptions will give them the space they need. Whenever needed, defend your transgender friends against discrimination and violence. I believe that all people, regardless of gender identity and sexual orientation, should be treated with dignity, equality and respect. We have to do this together as a society, Let’s make the world a safe place for everyone.
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