Transgender Awareness Month 2023

An article written by Lyndsay Thomson, Chair of OU Pride.

November marks the start of Transgender Awareness Month.

In this day and age, some might ask why there’s still a need for Transgender Awareness Month. After all, trans people can live their lives freely, right? Wrong. Did you know that something as simple as holidaying is marred with complications and, to put it bluntly, transphobia at the highest level. It’s almost unbelievable that earlier this year in Florida, state legislation was passed preventing trans people from using the correct bathrooms in state-operated buildings. You can come off a 9 hour flight from the UK and not be allowed to use the correct toilet.

That’s quite the welcome to the Land Of The Free.

Similarly, legislation has been passed in Florida and in other states that prevents trans teenagers from accessing gender-affirming medical care.

But it’s not just the United States that is eroding trans rights; Britain’s own Equalities Minister, Kemi Badenoch, would like to rewrite the EHRC policies to mirror the Floridian legislation in the UK, using the gender-critical dog whistle of defining people using their “biological gender”. The Government still refuses to outlaw conversion therapy for trans folk, and both sides of the political spectrum have stated that women definitely don’t have penises. Meanwhile, many continue producing pseudo-academic transphobic nonsense, free from any consequence. Just recently, trans women, including doctors treating patients, were banned from women-only wards.

Just as incredibly, there are enclaves of the queer community that masquerade as charities and actively promote transphobia. It seems that these minorities have no fear of the risk that those persecuting trans people will, without any doubt, turn on them at some point in the future.

It’s 2023, and trans rights are being diminished in most countries. Violent acts against trans people are increasing in number virtually everywhere, well above official reporting, with many more incidents going unreported.

The sad reality is, due to populist and nationalist governments around the world, trans people as a community are more visible than ever, yet never have their rights been at so much risk.

This is why we are convinced that Trans Awareness Month is more important than ever.

If you are not worried, concerned or just plain angry, then maybe you haven’t been paying attention. We all need to step up and support our trans brothers and sisters. Sitting on the sidelines is simply no longer enough.

Of course, OU Pride will be marking the month in a number of ways and making as much noise as possible to make sure this month is not forgotten. As the saying goes, ‘Watch This Space’!

All opinion pieces submitted to The Hoot are the thoughts, feelings and opinions of the author. Any OU student is able to and encouraged to submit articles in line with our submission guidelines.

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One Comment

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  1. This is spot on in regards to still requiring it, would be lovely if it was merely a pride thing or an opportunity to meet other trans people and it was just a celebration which would also be fine. The fact that even the OU allowed a ‘gender critical’ group to continued spreading debates etc under the free discussion type excuse also highlights how this is still needed.