From November 13 to November 19 is Trans Awareness Week, a week long celebration to uplift and honour the trans community.
In leading up to Transgender Day of Remembrance, November 20, the week raises the visibility of trans people and puts a spotlight on issues faced by the community.
A Gender Agenda (AGA) is a Canberra-based support and educational organisation for trans, gender diverse and intersex people. Speaking with Star Observer, AGA’s Executive Director Vik Fraser discusses the importance of continuing to raise visibility for trans people through challenging times and raising issues with broader communities.
Fraser recognises the “important time” the week holds for the organisation, allowing people to come “together as a community” and celebrate trans rights and inclusion.
“The increased visibility that comes around these special times also creates an avenue for members of [the] community who may not have engaged with the organisation yet to find us and connect,” said Fraser.
Trans Awareness Weeks brings community organisations, like AGA, to the forefront. Fraser describes the “very special” experience of speaking with people who are reaching out to the organisation for the first time during the week.
“Seeing more and more organisations getting involved in activities at this time also creates hope for our community, as we see more people acknowledging us and celebrating our existence,” they explain.
Visibility Across Communities
Along with building stronger connections, Fraser says “visibility is crucial” in being able to combat “increasing negativity” the community faces.
“Trans, gender diverse and intersex people have always existed, and we are just part of the beautiful diversity that makes up humanity,” they said.
“Visible stories of success, of joy, and of persistence become integral ways in which we can protect our communities, and in particular remind our allies of the need to stand up with us.”
In being able to highlight trans success and joy, broader LGBTQI communities and allies must play an “important role” in sharing these stories.
Noting that these broader communities share “whole stories,” Fraser said people must also challenge “misinformation and disinformation” present within society.
Transgender Day Of Remembrance
The celebratory week proceeds Trans Day of Remembrance, “a solemn time to remember those who have been fighting for our human rights, and those we have lost along the way,” explained Fraser.
Whilst recognising trans people who have been leaders within local, Australian and International communities, this culminates to pushing for strong trans recognition and inclusivity.
“It is a time to remember the joy that we have in community, and lament the struggle and loss that often goes hand in hand with that joy,” said Fraser.
“It is a time to commit to working together to create a space and society where we experience more joy, and fewer struggles and losses.”
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Operating for over 15 years, AGA continues to educate and provide peer support to trans, gender diverse, and intersex people. Connecting with people in Canberra and surrounding regions, the organisation advocates through government inquiries, consultation processes, and their media channels.