Trans Awareness Week runs between the 12th and 20th of November and ends with Trans Day of Remembrance. The purpose of this week is to bring the trans community at UEA together and raise awareness of trans people and the issues we face.
I think that Trans Awareness Week is more important this year than ever before. We’ve all seen transphobia in the media, in the news, and recently, on our own campus. Much of this has been in response to the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) consultation, through which the government looked into potential reforms to the legal gender recognition process. I submitted a response to this consultation on behalf of uea(su), which you can read here.
There is no place for transphobia on our campus. UEA gave me the freedom and support I needed to transition when I arrived here two years ago, and I hope that this is still the case for other trans students. It is a difficult time to be trans. Recent incidents of transphobia, including the transphobic sticker campaign that we have previously spoken out on, have been frightening, and it is easy to feel as though the majority of people are against us. But the outpouring of support in response to these incidents shows that this is not the case. The response that UEA academics gave in the national press to the ‘debate’ on gender recognition was heartening to see and reminds us that both staff and students at UEA are largely united on this issue.
Trans people will not be silenced. It is more important than ever in light of these events to be visible and vocal, and uea(su) will always stand by trans and non-binary students in our fight for acceptance. For Trans Awareness Week we will be running a range of events, including a workshop on how to be a good trans ally, and a screening of Laura Jane Grace’s documentary ‘True Trans’, to combat misunderstanding of trans identities and help allies actively support their trans friends and relatives. Click here to see a calendar of this week’s events.
If you feel affected by any of these issues, help is available. Both uea(su)'s Advice Centre and the university’s Student Support service can offer advice. Pride Society is uea(su)’s peer support group for LGBT+ students. Membership is free, and it’s never too late to join. Pride’s Trans and Non-Binary sub-group is exclusive to trans, non-binary and intersex students, and provides a safe environment where you can meet other trans people at UEA.
Transphobia is Never OK. If you experience or witness transphobia, you can report it here: https://portal.uea.ac.uk/neverok/report-it. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Liam Deary- LGBT+ (open place) Officer