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International Transgender Awareness Week advocates for victim rights at UA

McKenzie Colson/ The Daily Wildc
McKenzie Colson/ The Daily Wildcat Transgender Awareness Week began on Monday, Nov. 17, 2014 on the UA mall. People set up booths and balloons to kick off this event

The UA’s LGBTQ Affairs is taking part in Transgender Awareness Week to promote education and advocacy for people who identify as transgender this week and next week.

Greg Daniels, co-director of UA Pride Alliance, said that as an international issue, transgender awareness and knowledge is different everywhere you go.

“It is definitely two different beasts locally and internationally,” Daniels said. “Internationally, I think it’s probably a lot worse, especially in places like Africa or even South America. … Our transgender awareness week is going to be very different compared to theirs.”

One commonality on a global level is the annual International Transgender Day of Remembrance, observed today.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance is meant to honor and pay respects to those who have been victims of anti-transgender violence.

The website for the event includes a list of people who have been murdered due to anti-transgender violence throughout the world, including their names, the cause of death and the location.

Transgender Awareness Week and the Transgender Day of Remembrance have a common mission in attempting to raise mindfulness of the issues and educate others so that the issues facing the transgender community can be addressed.

According to staff at Pride Alliance, Transgender Awareness Week at the UA will be localized with education being the main focus.

Alex Ross, a theatre arts freshman, said he agrees that people should continue attempting to understand the issues surrounding the transgender community in order to become more accepting of their differences.

“It’s really important,” Ross said. “We don’t think about transgender people, they are often marginalized in our culture, so it’s raising awareness to the fact that they are there, they are not invisible.”

Awareness of the transgender community is continuing to grow on a global level. Education and outreach can both help to promote further awareness and acceptance and end marginalization of transgender people.

“To see that over the past few years finally becoming a central theme in culture, in news, I think it’s awesome that we are finally getting there,” Ross said. “Learning in order to be accepting is truly the most important thing.”

LGBTQ Affairs and Pride Alliance staff members said they are proud of the work they are doing in order to accomplish the long-term goals of acceptance.

“Our events and having so many people this year turn out for our events really gives me that validity of what I am doing is right,” Daniels said, “and it is really touching people.”


Follow Benny Sisson on Twitter.

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