LGBTI Sports Blog

Blog: Trans Awareness Week 2023

17th November 2023

Blog: Trans Awareness Week 2023

LEAP Sports staff, Jasmine, reflects on Trans Awareness Week 2023

I don’t want to write this. But I work at an LGBTQ charity, and someone has to.

The reason I don’t want to write this is because I am so tired and fed up of having to live with constant reminders of the attacks on me and my community – the most recent I saw being Suella Braverman’s remarks in her alt-right blaze of glory style resignation letter. I try to disengage because I don’t think it is very healthy to dwell upon and live within these negative patterns of thought.

At least I get to live though.

Brianna Ghey would have turned 17 last week.

320 trans people have been killed this year, so far. [1] This number is taken just from the number of murders reported in the media, so it is probably a fraction of the reality. They have had that right to life taken away from them, simply for being trans. Trans awareness week, and Trans Day of Remembrance, is for them, so they get to live on in our memories. 94% of the murders were of trans women. Most were black or brown. Many were sex workers. Most were under 25. Their material conditions, their poverty, which a transphobic society created, put them in harm’s way.

So, I will try my best to write something in their memory, and to hopefully encourage you to help make the world a safer and better place to be trans.

I think everyone is aware of trans people. It is debatable whether that is a good thing or not. It is hard for me to comment on life as a trans person in this country ten years ago, when there was less general awareness of trans people, as I wasn’t out ten years ago. I do know that now it is so easy to find community, whether that be online or in person. At LEAP Sports, we try to help facilitate access to sport and community through the Trans Active Projects. Finding this community would be more difficult if you don’t live in a large city. I know that there are more of us out and proud than ever before, and that awareness organically creates more and more safe spaces where we can be ourselves.

It also makes us a target.

Hate crimes against trans people are on the rise. [2]

Attention is not always good. What I have definitely observed is far more awareness from the mainstream media, and the population as a whole. Now they, (you, the reader?), usually don’t know very much about us and our lives. And often the general population gets their information from outrageous, fear mongering newspaper articles. The media frenzy around trans people creates a hostile environment in the streets, in sports environments, and in many workplaces, leading to barriers which exclude trans people – forcing us into more marginal spaces where many are put in dangerous positions, for example into survival sex work. In these marginal spaces, those filled with ignorance, fear, and hatred feel emboldened to attack us.

Trans awareness week. What does this do? Does this awareness lead to acts of allyship from the cis majority? What does the cis majority think this entails? Accepting us in spaces without being hostile towards us? The amount of times people have told me “I don’t have a problem with it” as if that is some gift to me is astonishing.

The reality is this. Trans women are the demographic with the lowest average income. The second lowest is trans men. Then cis women, then, obviously, the highest is cis men.

This isn’t changing.

I personally have the very real privilege of being white. I am sure it has kept me safe more times than I know, and yet I still face violence and harassment. Trans black and brown people, and especially black and brown trans women, are disproportionately affected by violence.

But what can change? What can we do?

As my friend Lorelai says, liberation does not come from performative acts of cis allyship. These do not change trans people’s material reality. No true liberation can take place without profound and material change of pre-existing conditions of oppression.

So what does that mean? It means, in the short term at least, give your money to trans people. Trans people are struggling to live and to survive, to access healthcare, to pay their rent and to buy food. Donate to trans people’s fundraisers. If you can’t afford to donate, make your workplaces safe. Hire trans people. Challenge transphobic colleagues, friends or family members. Make it unacceptable to spread hatred. Do your own research and don’t ask intrusive questions.

But again, and I can’t stress this enough, donate to trans people’s fundraisers.

Awareness is not enough. Actions are needed. Put your money where your mouth is.

We are hosting an event at LEAP Sports for Trans Day of Remembrance – please get in touch on if you want more information.

I have included a link to the names of every trans person whose murder has been recorded in 2023 – remember them. 

1 More info here

2 More info here

Written by Jasmine on 17th November 2023.