November is Trans Awareness Month, a month when we sit up and take note of the trans and gender-diverse population. It is a time to mourn, a time to celebrate, a time to commiserate, and a time to commemorate trans lives.
As we take this one month out of twelve others, we should ask ourselves why? Why is it that we should only take this time to acknowledge the atrocities that trans people face? Why only now should we tally the numbers of those so senselessly butchered in the name of social (non) conformity? Why only now should we be ‘aware’ that there are some other trans and gender-diverse people worth taking note of and to be celebrated?
It is unfair and smacks of delayed tokenism for us only to be mourned, remembered, and celebrated this one month of the year. Only on this one day in the year do we publish statistics of trans folks whose lives have been so brutally cut short, whose vitality and dreams so viciously erased; moments of silence observed, candles lit, and vigils held. While others are celebrated for their trail-blazing bravery and achievements.
However, the time has come for trans and gender-diverse people to be honored throughout the year – to be remembered, their lives celebrated and memorialized, and their achievements acknowledged every single day. This may seem to be a tall order, but this is necessary to right the wrongs of the past and to make good for this marginalized community. We have faced the brunt of society at every turn, even from our queer siblings, who have also chosen to overlook us, compete with us, and turn a blind eye when we are in need.
Yes, we are in Trans Awareness Week, culminating with Trans Day of Remembrance on Sunday, November 20th. A day for us to honor and memorialize those of us that fell victim to anti-transgender violence. But let’s advocate for not one day, one week, and one month, but let us be remembered, honored, celebrated, and uplifted throughout the year.