This week in the UK it’s Transgender Awareness Week from 13 – 19 November.
Transgender Awareness Week is a week to celebrate the achievements of our trans and gender expansive siblings and talk about the ways we have to go in fighting for transgender liberation.
We want to use this moment to recognise how tough the last year has been for many trans and non-binary people living in the UK. If you are trans or non binary, you’ll probably be all too aware of the rise in transphobia. But for those outside the community, we’ve made this short summary to be able to evidence what that looks like in the UK right now.
In the last year alone;
> The UK Government blocked the Scottish Gender Reform Bill.
> The UK Government announced plans to tighten the rules for holders foreign gender recognition certificates
> A significant change to the 2010 Equality Act is being pursued by the government, which would redefine “sex” to refer specifically to a person’s sex at birth. (This has not been enacted yet, but follows the trend of increased transphobia from the Conservative government).
> Rishi Sunak openly mocked trans people to MP’s and made transphobic comments in his Tory party conference speech.
> Health Secretary Steve Barclay announced plans to ban transgender women from female wards in the NHS in line with a policy of single sex wards.
> Labour has rolled back on its promise to introduce self ID.
These actions are part of an ongoing culture war and moral panic. They have a direct impact on the ways we as trans people navigate the world and undermine trans people’s ability to live authentically and in peace. Hate crimes against trans people are up by 186% in the last 5 years and up by 11% in the last 5 years. (ONS Data).
When this transphobia intersects with race, disability, immigration status or other issues that can further marginalise people, health and equality outcomes can be even worse. It is no coincidence that the UK continues to fail to recognise its complicity in colonialism and the way this upholds power structures designed to give social advantages to very few people.
There is of course so much to celebrate in the contributions and achievements and strength of trans people, but this week we ask our allies to educate themselves on some of the issues outlined above and then check carefully how those in power, who we can hold accountable, are voting and making decisions.
Change is possible, but only through education, policy and action. Thats why we believe passionately in our Gender Awareness Training and its contribution towards this work. Our Gender Awareness Training empowers participants to advocate for and enact practices that better meet the needs of trans and gender diverse people.
Next week we are hosting a Live Q&A about our Gender Awareness Training. Find out more and book a free place here.
Solidarity always with those fighting for transgender liberation.