Trans Awareness Week 2023

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Dr Panagiotis Pentaris, Co-Chair of the Goldsmiths LGBTQ+ Staff Network, explores Trans Awareness Week.

Every year, from 13-19 November, we come together to celebrate Trans Awareness Week. This week serves as a vital platform for raising awareness about the challenges faced by the transgender community. It’s a time when trans individuals and their allies take action to educate the public, promote understanding, and shed light on the issues they face.
During Trans Awareness Week, we strive to recognise the lived experiences of trans people, aiming to advance advocacy against prejudice, oppression, and violence that disproportionately affect this part of our population. It’s a moment to reaffirm our commitment to creating a more inclusive and accepting world.
While the transgender community has made significant strides in recent years, gaining visibility and recognition, we must not lose sight of the persistent challenges they endure. It is essential to maintain an open and informed dialogue and counteract any promotion of transphobic views in the political sphere.
At Goldsmiths, our LGBTQ+ Staff Network is dedicated to sharing insights into the most pressing issues faced by the transgender community and take the opportunity to raise awareness of them. This message will hopefully spark meaningful conversations and increase awareness in this area. Our ultimate goal remains to foster a safer and more supportive environment for trans individuals.
One of the most alarming challenges faced by trans people is the continued discrimination and violence they experience. The National Center for Transgender Equality reports that 29% of transgender people have been denied equal treatment, and a staggering 47% have faced harassment. Hate crimes against trans people, especially transgender women of ethnic minority backgrounds, remain disproportionately high.
Access to gender-affirming healthcare is another pressing concern for the transgender community. Unfortunately, some insurance providers still deny coverage for procedures like hormone therapy or gender-affirming surgeries. We echo the American Medical Association’s recognition of the importance of gender-affirming care and their call to eliminate these barriers.
Furthermore, trans individuals often grapple with mental health issues due to societal discrimination, harassment, and insufficient support. Addressing this challenge is paramount to improving the wellbeing of the community.
Economic challenges, including high unemployment rates and workplace discrimination, add another layer of difficulty for the transgender community. Initiatives such as workplace diversity and inclusion policies are essential steps towards rectifying these issues.
Trans Awareness Week is a time for reflection, education, and action. Let’s come together to make a positive change, stand with the transgender community, and work towards a more inclusive and equitable world.