Trans Awareness Week is about to kick off, starting on Saturday 13th November to Friday 19th November 2021. It's a week to honour trans pride and level up our trans allyship. To help us better understand the meaning and purpose around Trans Awareness Week, we spoke to our friends at Minus18. Here's what they said...
What is Trans Awareness Week and how important is it?
Trans Awareness Week is a chance to celebrate trans and gender diverse pride, and learn how to elevate the voices of our community. It’s important because unfortunately trans, gender diverse and non-binary young people are still marginalised and discriminated against:
- 96% of trans and gender diverse young people experience abuse due to their identity
- 90% will experience depression, compared to just 15% of the general population
But when leaders (like teachers or managers) use inclusive language, the rate of social exclusion is halved. It’s our mission to help bring that awareness and education to everyone who supports young people.
What is Minus18 doing to support Trans Awareness Week?
We have free toolkits, free resources, free community pride packs, education sessions for allies, articles, pride packs and activation support - we want to see every corner of Australia celebrate. Click here
How can someone be a trans ally?
Becoming an ally to people who are trans, gender diverse or non-binary is an ongoing process. The following are several tips that can be used as you work towards becoming a better ally. This list isn’t exhaustive but will provide you with a starting place as you learn more about gender identities.
- Don't tolerate disrespect: Whether it’s hurtful language, remarks or jokes, call it out if it’s inappropriate. Seek out other allies who will support you in this effort.
- Be patient with those questioning their gender identity: A person who’s questioning their gender identity might shift back and forth as they find out what pronoun works for them. Be kind and respectful—this includes being respectful of their names, pronouns and bodies.
- Don't worry about what bathrooms people use: Recognise that gender diverse people may not match the signs on restroom doors. If there are no gender neutral bathrooms available, offer to accompany a gender diverse person to the bathroom in a buddy system.
- Use gender neutral language: Our everyday words and phrases are often gendered unnecessarily. By using terms like “hi guys” or addressing a group with “welcome ladies and gentlemen”, we assume genders and exclude people.
Consider using gender inclusive language like “hi friends” or “welcome folks” instead. Instead of “brother/sister” use “sibling” and instead of “boyfriend/girlfriend” use “partner”.
What are pronouns and why are they so significant?
A pronoun is a word that refers to either the people talking (I or you) or someone/something that is being talked about (like she, it, them, and this). Pronouns like he, she and they specifically refer to the people that you are talking about. It is important to respect people's pronouns. You can't always know what someone's pronouns are by looking at them. Asking and correctly using someone's pronouns is one of the most basic ways to show your respect for gender identity.
What are some ways we can normalise conversations around pronouns and gender inclusive language?
1. Understand why they are important - we have heaps of articles and resources on our website
or join our upcoming ticketed training session
on ‘Intro to Visible Trans Allyship’ to learn more.
2. Be visible and share your pronouns - this is a proactive form of allyship and can be done in heaps of ways e.g. your email signature, a badge/name tag or when you first introduce yourself to others. Sharing your pronouns marks you as an ally to others.
3. Don’t assume, pronouns are not always obvious - using gender neutral pronouns until you have a chance to learn someones pronouns is the gold standard. If you role model the behaviour you’ll find pretty soon you’ll be inspiring others to do the same!
4. Mistakes happen and it can take some time to learn - we all make mistakes and that’s ok. If you make a mistake the best thing to do is correct yourself and move on. It may take some getting used it, but just like a muscle the more you train it the easier it becomes.
Can you tell us a bit about Minus18’s Intro to Visible Trans Allyship workshop module?
We devised the workshop to equip participants with the knowledge and support needed to start or upskill their allyship journey. That is, to support trans and gender diverse colleagues, clients, mates, family and the wider community.
The module covers:
● Overview of Trans Awareness Week and its importance.
● The difference between sex, gender and sexuality.
● Recommendations and practical tools to be an active ally including the importance of pronouns and how to use inclusive language.
● LGBTQIA+ lived-experiences via our experienced workshop presenters.
● Dedicated Q&A time to ask questions live and opportunity to ask questions throughout.
How can people get involved in Trans Awareness Week via Minus18?
Attend our ticketed training event during Trans Awareness week on ‘Intro to Visible Trans Allyship’ on 18th November 2021. Tickets are available here
Can you suggest some great resources people can access to learn more?
Absolutely, check out some of our friends who have incredible resources and are also supporting the TGDNB community in amazing ways:
- Transgender Victoria
- Escape Velocity
Also, please make sure to check us out at Minus18
. Happy Trans Awareness Week!