By Gilbert Zavala
Transgender Awareness Week occurs annually between November 13th - November 19th, leading into Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20th. During this week individuals, organizations, and groups help raise visibility on Transgender people and gender nonbinary individuals and the issues they face as a community.
Transgender Day of Remembrance was founded in 1999 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a trans-woman and advocate, to memorialize Rita Hester, a trans-woman who was murdered.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, at least 36 transgender or gender non-conforming people have been murdered in 2020 with the majority being Black and Latinx trans-women, but this number may be much higher due to stories being unreported or misreported.
Transgender and gender non-conforming people are our friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, and community members, but face discrimination and hate fueled by Transphobia. Together we can help change this. As part of the LA vs Hate Campaign, 211 LA is trying to bring a stop to acts of hate in Los Angeles County by encouraging individuals who have witnessed or experienced an act of hate to report it by dialing 2-1-1 or reporting online. Our services are free, confidential, and available 24 hours, 7 days a week, with services available in multiple languages. Care Coordination support is available for victims of hate.
How you can make a difference during Transgender Awareness Week and Transgender Day of Remembrance:
- Seek educational opportunities to learn about gender identity and issues affecting the trans and broader LGBTQ+ communities.
- Support your local LGBTQ+ center.
- Reach out to trans individuals in your life and let them know you support them.
211 LA can also help the transgender community with connections to housing, healthcare, employment opportunities, counseling services, and LGBTQ+ support groups.
- Los Angeles LGBT Center: LA LGBT Center offers programs, services, and global advocacy that span four broad categories: Health, Social Services and Housing, Culture and Education, Leadership and Advocacy.
- Colors LGBTQ Youth Counseling Center: Colors LGBTQ YCC mission is to ensure that LGBTQ+ identified youth have the mental health support they need in order to walk into their adulthood affirmed in their sexual orientation and/or gender identity and are able to achieve their full potential while supporting strong and productive relationships with their families, partners and other community members.
- LGBT National Help Center : Provides vital peer-support, community connections and resource information to people with questions regarding sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
- Trevor Project: Founded to support LGBTQ+ youth, the Trevor Project is a nonprofit suicide prevention organization that offers confidential phone service with trained counselors to talk with LGBTQ+ teens and adolescents considering suicide.
Additional resources for transgender individuals, allies, and families:
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: AFSP provides general resources about overcoming suicidal thoughts or tendencies, helping loved ones who experience suicidal thoughts, and supporting survivors who have lost loved ones to suicide.
- Human Rights Campaign: HRC is a global advocacy group committed to strengthening worldwide support for LGBTQ+ rights and helping ensure LGBTQ+ individuals are protected equally under the law.
- GLAAD: With a mission of helping LGBTQ+ voices be heard, GLAAD works with media groups to share stories of trans and LGBTQ+ people and maintain equitable media treatment of the LGBTQ+ community.
- PFLAG: Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays exist to support not only LGBTQ+ people but also their families and friends. Resources for individuals who might struggle with learning more about a loved one who is trans or gender-variant include peer-to-peer support.
- Trans People of Color Coalition: TPOCC is a group that amplifies stories of trans people of color and works to make sure issues that affect trans people of color are represented in the media.
- Trans Youth Equality Foundation: TYEF provides information about the trans community for youth and their families and advocates for trans youth in issues that threaten trans equality.
For additional information on health, human, and social services available to the LGBTQ+ community in Los Angeles County, please dial 2-1-1 or chat online now with our Community Resource Advisors.