November 20th is Transgender Day of Remembrance: a day when we come together to remember our trans brothers and sisters who lost their lives because of their gender identity.
I realised that I was transgender when I was in my final year of school. If it wasn’t for my ex-best mate, who is also a female to male transgender, transitioning would have been difficult. Even though I had to look up the word ‘transgender’ on the internet, it was he who gave me the advice I needed to progress and become the guy I am today. Having first-hand knowledge from him made my life easier. I knew what to expect. I felt more at ease as he told me everything would be okay.
Over the years, generations have become more knowledgeable about different aspects of life. People don’t suddenly become transphobic; I believe they grow up to be transphobic. [Transphobia: individuals acting upon their dislike of anyone who identifies as transgender.]
November 20th is Transgender Day of Remembrance: a day when we come together to remember our trans brothers and sisters who lost their lives because of their gender identity. In some countries, it’s still illegal to identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender [LGBT]. Punishment includes imprisonment or death. Around the world, people are killed as a result of transphobia. They can also be led to suicide as a result of depression caused by rejection.
Transgender Awareness Week is the name given to the week before Transgender Day of Remembrance [TDoR]. The week is extremely important for the transgender community. Its purpose is to educate people on the issues the community faces, such as transitioning and acceptance.
Why should it be difficult to accept people for who they are? Why should we need Transgender Day of Remembrance and Transgender Awareness Week? Why can’t we be accepted across the world, like anyone else? What makes us different from someone who isn’t transgender?
As a female to male transgender, I don’t think there is enough awareness in the world. LGBT education has only just been incorporated into the curriculum from the start of the 2020/21 academic year. Information depending, students risk not getting a true picture of the community as a whole. Transgender programmes have been aired on TV, but they can come across as though everyone in the community goes through the same thing. We don’t; we have our own experiences. The ‘Born in the Wrong Body’ series was a brilliant example of the day to day lives of the transgender community: what it’s like to be [and have] a trans child, and what it’s like to transition.
You wouldn’t judge a book by its cover, so why treat the transgender community as though we are different? We are just the same as everyone else.
Max Wrigley was born and grew up in Teesside. He found a love for writing aged 19, through having a friendship with an already published author. Max is currently on the Humanities Foundation Year at the University of East Anglia and hopes to progress onto the BA (Hons) English Literature with Creative Writing degree next September. His ambition is to publish books which have underlying meanings connected to ongoing issues that people experience.
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