This is Transgender Awareness Week, a week dedicated to uplifting and honoring the lives and experiences of transgender people. The week ends on November 20th with Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day to honor the lives of transgender people who’ve lost their lives to antitrans violence in the preceding year. During Trans Awareness Week, we honor the lives of those lost and meet the needs of those still living. At GBFB, that means helping alleviate hunger in our community.
Transgender people face hunger at alarming rates, often exacerbated by stigma, discrimination, and bias in the workplace and at social services agencies. A study by UCLA Williams School of Law this spring found that 20% of transgender adults experienced food insufficiency during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to 8% of cisgender (read: not trans) adults. Trans people of color experienced even higher rates of food insufficiency, at around 28%. Our recent study found that about half of LGBTQIA+ people in Massachusetts have experienced food insecurity. In context of the greater national trends, we recognize that these numbers are likely to be disproportionately higher for trans people, especially trans people of color.
That said, there are actions community members can take to support transgender family members, friends, and neighbors. The first is to get familiar with terms and do some research to better understand the unique challenges trans people in your life face. Trans 101, a project of YGender and MINUS18 out of Australia, has a great primer to learn more about trans people. Second, encourage the trans people in your life to participate in the US Trans Survey – the largest survey of trans adults in the country. The deadline to participate is December 5th. The third is to participate in Transgender Day of Remembrance, November 20th, to honor the lives of transgender people. Forty-seven trans people have died by interpersonal violence across the country since November of last year. Read their stories here.