Transgender Awareness Week: November 13-19

This week is #TransAwarenessWeek! Learn more below as we raise awareness around issues faced by the trans community by highlighting resources, facilitating conversations, and amplifying the experiences of trans folks to honor, uplift and support.

What is Transgender Awareness Week?

Transgender Awareness Week, typically observed during the week of November 13-19, is a week of collective action where transgender folks and allies come together to amplify the voices, stories, and experiences of the community. Through community education, Transgender Awareness Week aims to advance advocacy around the issues of prejudice, discrimination, and violence that affect the transgender community to help make system change. The week then leads up to Transgender Day of Remembrance, which honors and memorializes victims of anti-transgender violence every year on November 20.

Trans Folks Disproportionately Experience Poverty and Economic Insecurity

LGBT people have a poverty rate of 21.6% (compared to 15.7% among straight people)

  • Trans folks have a poverty rate of 29.4% (almost double cis, straight folks)
  • Transgender folks are more than 2x as likely to be living in poverty than the general U.S. population; this increases to more than 3x as likely among trans people of color
  • 29% of trans people were living in poverty at the time of the USTS, compared to 14% of the general U.S. population
  • 38% of black trans folks are living in poverty.

Collectively, 42% of black trans folks have experienced homelessness in their lives (compared to 30% of the population overall)

  • 50% of undocumented transgender people have experienced homelessness in their lifetime

Unemployed or underemployed: 44% of working trans people are under-employed; transgender workers are 4x more likely than the general population to have a household income under $10,000

  • Trans people experience 2x higher rates of unemployment (14%) compared to the general population (7%)
  • 15% of trans people were unemployed, compared to 5% of the general U.S. population
  • 16% of trans people reported losing a job in their lifetime because of gender identity/expression; 27% reported being denied a promotion or being hired for a job due to gender identity/expression
  • 20% of black transgender folks are unemployed

Factors contributing to economic instability among trans folks:

  • Low-wage jobs with limited hours
  • Barriers to getting better jobs
  • High costs of living
  • Debt
  • Housing instability
  • Food insecurity
  • Transportation barriers
  • Employment discrimination
  • Housing discrimination
  • High rates of childhood poverty

What can we do?

Educate yourself

Below you will find several resources and definitions courtesy of GLAAD, an organization that works with and directly advocates for the LGBTQ+ community:

  • Transgender: people whose gender identity differs from the sex they are assigned at birth.
  • Gender identity: a person’s internal, personal sense of being a certain gender (or sometimes, more than one gender).
  • Glossary of Terms, including terms that are acceptable and not acceptable when referring to transgender people.

Know the Resources

Below you will find local organizations who provide support and resources to the LBGT+ community in the Philadelphia region:

Coalition for Black Trans Economic Liberation

Philadelphia FIGHT Resource List

Mazzoni Center Resource List

William Way’s Arcila-Adams Trans Resource Center

Healthy Minds Philly Mental Health Resource List (General and LGBTQIA+ Specific):

Pass the Mic

The best way to stand in solidarity with the trans community is to amplify their voices. Share their stories and actively listen to learn how to best show up as an ally for trans justice and equity!

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Sources:

https://www.clasp.org/blog/equality-act-without-economic-justice-merely-symbolic

https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/National-LGBT-Poverty-Oct-2019.pdf

https://www.hrc.org/news/new-report-details-the-experiences-of-being-black-and-transgender-in-the-u

https://www.thetaskforce.org/transgender-workers-at-greater-risk-for-unemployment-and-poverty/

https://transequality.org/sites/default/files/docs/usts/USTS-Full-Report-Dec17.pdf