Illustration by Mahgul Farooqui

It’s Trans Awareness Week 2022

Nov. 13 - Nov. 20, marked the annual Trans Awareness Week 2022, which is both a celebration of the transgender identity and a commemoration of all victims of transphobia.

Nov 21, 2022

This past week has been named Trans Awareness Week by LGBTQIA+ activists around the globe. This annual tradition leads up to the Trans Day of Remembrance (TDoR), which commemorates the victims of transphobia and other hate crimes.
The first Trans Day of Remembrance was held on Nov. 20, 1999, and has since become one of the milestones in the calendar for transgender activists. The Trans Awareness Week was introduced later, speculatively around 2006, as part of a larger campaign — bringing the issues of the trans community to the public. The purpose of the week is to be inclusive, educational and validating for both people from the LGBTQIA+ community and those who do not identify as such.
While lately there has been an improvement in the public awareness of the issue of trans rights, there are still many hurdles to be overcome. On a global scale, there are many legal obstacles transgender individuals have to face when it comes to affirming their identities. From a legal perspective, there are still multiple victories to be reached, such as the legalization of gender identity, which would correctly portray a person's identity in official documents such as IDs, passports, and health records. The campaigns during Trans Awareness Week are usually centered around raising these issues to political officials through peaceful demonstrations, educational talks, and fundraising initiatives.
This year’s Trans Awareness Week was centered around the “Don’t Say Gay” bill in the U.S. and the discourse on trans rights within the UK government under Rishi Sunak’s leadership. Trans celebrities, public figures and allies voiced their concerns about these setbacks and recent changes to trans rights laws which pushed the movement back by decades.
Trans Awareness Week is also a celebration of the trans artists and activists who have shaped the movement and helped raise awareness about trans lives. In the dawn of the movement, Marsha P. Johnson, Louise Lawrence, Jaqueline Charlotte Dufresnoy, and Reed Erickson were prominent figures. Before them trans individuals like Albert Cashier and Lucy Hicks Anderson had to live concealing their trans identities but still subverted societal norms, and the trans rights movement used them as an example and foundation for their campaigns.
Today, trans actors and actresses, musicians, models and athletes such as Elliot Page, Yasmine Finney, Hunter Schafer, Kim Petras Schuyler Bailar, Laurel Hubbard, among others are important faces of the movement in the U.S. and the U.K.
Yana Peeva is Deputy Columns Editor. Email her at
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