From top left to right: Ebony Harper, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, Ben Hudson, Leon Evan Burse, Valerie Spencer, Gwen Araujo, Chyna Gibson, Bamby Salcedo, Dafahlia Mosley
Trans Awareness week isn’t just about the deaths in our community. It is also about resilience, and our responsibility to our most vulnerable community members. We must take this opportunity to recognize the vastness of trans identities. There are many ways trans folks show up, and each journey is unique to the individual. We have different transitional goals, different life goals, and different ways of being. We must embrace all of the beautiful ways trans folks show up on this planet, and elevate the voices of our most vulnerable.
We experience some of the highest rates of exclusion, violence, and discrimination across this country, which means Trans Awareness is also an opportunity for allies. Being a true ally means being willing to sacrifice the privilege granted by traditional gender roles in order to hear and see people who do not enjoy such privilege, and whose lives and well-being are threatened by the toxicity of intolerance. None of us, within the trans community or outside of it, should rest until we are all safe and we are all free.
This month, take time to listen and learn about trans individuals, and what we are forced to endure just to be ourselves. Learning is the first part of being an ally; resources are available across the internet. Here in Sacramento, we will hold a screening on December 2nd of the films Major! and KIKI, which highlight the past and present of trans life and activism in the United States. We hope those in Sacramento will join us for this opportunity to learn more about the issues facing the trans community, and that people across the country will take time to gain a better understanding of the issues as well.
When it comes to Trans Awareness, we must #RiseUpAsOne, because our fates are intertwined. When we stand up for all individuals — regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender, religion, or background — our communities are stronger, and we are all healthier.