I Dare You: Trans Awareness Week and the Need for Active Allyship
I am somewhat competitive in nature so I want to challenge you- call it a dare. But let me tell you why before I tell you what the challenge is. A few months ago, I was talking with some friends of mine who are trans like me, and asked them if they planned on going to one of OBC’s upcoming events. Without hesitation they said: “Why would I want to go? People constantly misgender me and use the wrong pronouns. I don’t feel welcome at those events.” It was clear that these slights and moments of disrespect were even more hurtful because they came from within our own community. In a time when the LGBTQ community already feels under attack from the current administration and increasing intolerance, hatred and hostility it is particularly disturbing that a portion of our community is feeling excluded and disrespected by our own.
So, my challenge is this: I dare you to do better. I dare you to ask someone what pronouns they use. I dare you to speak up when you hear transphobic language. I dare you to learn about some of the challenges our community faces. I dare you to get to know us. Attend an event during Trans Awareness Week and learn more about the trans members of our community (and just how fabulous we are). Just as we came together during the AIDS crisis and in the marriage equality movement, trans folk need your support when we are being denied our basic humanity and bearing the brunt of the most hideous murders, assaults and abuses.
You will have opportunities to learn about the crucial role played by trans women of color in the Stonewall Riots, hear a panel of local trans people sharing their experiences and have a chance to ask that burning question, see a comedy show headlined by a trans woman, and attend our Transgender Day of Remembrance to honor those who have been taken from us in the last year. Take it to the next level by helping a trans person with the cost of legally changing their name so they can finally have identity documents that match.
If you are trans please join us for all of the above plus a name change workshop (where you can get the process started right then and there) and our Transgiving Dinner, which is limited to those who identify along the trans spectrum and offers a space where you can sit and enjoy a free holiday meal where you are among family.
He, him, his
Chair, Trans Steering Committee
Out Boulder County