Every year, from Nov 13 to 19, #TransAwarenessWeek raises visibility for our trans friends and family, spotlighting issues members of the trans community face.
Make no mistake: transphobia is at an all-time high.
Hate crimes against trans people saw the biggest rise in the UK, with a rise of 56%, with over four thousand reports in a year (BBC, 2022). Even so, this is likely underreported as 88% of trans people do not report hate crimes they experience (Government Equalities Office).
It is no wonder that trans people are afraid to report hate crimes that they experience.
From "bathroom bills" to excluding trans people from the conversion therapy ban, the political landscape is increasingly hostile to the trans community.
This mistrust is not unusual given the fact that trans people are also often misgendered and deadnamed by police.
Social media platforms are also making it worse.
A new breed of content creators are now launching lucrative careers on platforms like TikTok, YouTube and Twitter by misgendering, deadnaming, and making fun of trans people.
(TW: Transphobia, deadnaming, misgendering)
The backlash will be swift and severe if these creators were making fun of someone's race or sexuality, so why is it okay to make fun of trans people?
We wouldn't spout racist remarks at a BIPOC having a good day on TikTok. We wouldn't be homophobic to gays, bis, or lesbians making Reels. So why is it acceptable to make fun of trans people?
The trans community is not a joke.
Trans people are not your punchlines.
Trans people are treated by these content creators as if they are a new phenomenon, or as though
they are unnatural.
The truth is that trans people have existed since time immemorial.
"It's not that we're new. It's that you've naturalized our disappearance." - Alok Menon
Trans people are not caricatures.
Transphobia is not harmless fun. It is bigotry. It is hurtful and it is dehumanising.
This #TransAwarenessWeek, let's stand up against transphobia.
Trans people are part of our common humanity and deserve to be respected.
This is part of a two-part series for #TransAwarenessWeek. (Next up: How to be a better ally)