Transgender Awareness Week is an opportunity for residents to consider how they can become allies to the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.
The week, which runs from Nov. 13 to 19, closes with Transgender Day of Remembrance in memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.
Executive Director of Spectrum Waterloo Scott Williams hopes people take time to reflect and look forward to how the community can become a safer place for all.
“I hope people take time during Transgender Awareness Week to learn more about the issues facing trans and non-binary people,” Williams said.
“I think that lack of acceptance usually stems from a lack of understanding. When people take the time to get to know 2SLGBTQIA+ people, they realize that we are just human beings, looking to live safe and productive lives, affirmed as our true and complete selves. Businesses can invest in training in 2SLGBTQIA+ cultural competency for their people, and individuals can do their own research.”
Spectrum is encouraging people to take part in a pair of events to honour the week. First, on Saturday, November 18, they will be hosting a launch of Katrina Stephany's new poetry book, Transitive, at 2 p.m.
Then on Sunday, Grand River Pride is hosting a vigil and walk for the Transgender Day of Remembrance at Cambridge City Hall beginning at 6 p.m.
Additionally, Spectrum has a variety of resources on their website to help inform people on the issues transgender people face and how they can be more accepting.
“The community needs to learn that transgender folks have always existed,” Williams said.
“We can work towards allyship in simple ways, including using our own pronouns when we introduce ourselves, and making sure we use the pronouns that people want us to use for them. Take some time to learn about the history of transgender people, and the challenges that face them in our community today.”
For more information on Spectrum Waterloo Region and how to become an ally visit their website at ourspectrum.com.