What to talk about during Trans Awareness Week
October 20, 2020
Trans Awareness Week is fast approaching – you've ordered a Pride Pack, you've rallied the team to do a morning tea, or attend a training session, or get together online for a themed virtual lunch or meeting. But you know that Trans Awareness Week is all about education and allyship. How do you make sure your fun activity is backed up by meaningful conversation and action?
Don't worry – Minus18 HQ has your back. Especially if you're not completely confident grabbing the steering wheel of a conversation and turning it towards being an ally to the trans and gender diverse community!
Firstly, remember that each and every one of our Trans Awareness Week Pride Packs come with educational posters filled with ways to be a trans ally (no matter your level of knowledge), along with conversation cards to get your team chatting about what the week's truly about.
Here are some of our favourite ways to get conversation started during Trans Awareness Week about what we can all do to stand with our trans colleagues, clients, students, friends, and family.
WHY WE DO TRANS AWARENESS WEEK
Trans Awareness Week is a chance to celebrate the wonderful trans and gender diverse community. And it's also the perfect, ideal time to educate ourselves and those around us about gender diversity, and the importance of being a trans ally. And of course, what being an ally even entails.
Every year, Trans Awareness Week finishes with the whole community observing Trans Day of Remembrance. It's a chance to celebrate the trailblazers throughout history that have fought for trans rights, and honour the ones who have lost their lives due to violence and discrimination.
It's important to note that this sort of violence still exists, and isn't just an ugly footnote in history – and that's exactly the reason why Trans Awareness Week is so, so important.
What to watch
Our absolute top pick? Disclosure, was released on Netflix earlier this year – and if you're able, we wholeheartedly recommend watching it with your team or setting it as "homework" for the week. It's a vital, timely look at trans representation in the media, and the ripple effects that it has.
- How can we visibly and tangibly be an ally to the trans and gender diverse community?
- Why is this visibility so important?
THE IMPORTANCE OF PRONOUNS
Having meaningful conversations can be tough sometimes, so a really great way to incite meaningful discussion is to lead by example. We've found that pronouns are a great springboard for education, and action when it comes to gender diversity.
You could wear a pronoun badge on your lapel or lanyard, and use that as way to start a conversation with your friends, family or colleagues about the importance of respecting pronouns and gender-neutral language. Displaying your pronouns lets others know you'll respect theirs, and normalises conversations about gender.
If someone in your team or group of mates is new to pronouns, that’s okay! That’s what Trans Awareness Week is all about – learning, and getting the conversation started. And our Pride Packs are filled with pronoun-related tips!
What to watch:
- Wearing a pronoun badge is great! Where are some other ways we can normalise conversations about pronouns?
- Why would seeing an adult respect their pronouns make a big impact to a trans young person?
- Practice using gender neutral language when referring to someone you don't know / that you've just met.
SUPPORTING COLLEAGUES AND CLIENTS AT WORK
If there's one thing we know, it's that in a workplace, levels of LGBTQIA+ knowledge are going to vary. And as someone who's organised a Trans Awareness Week activity, sometimes you want to leave the education to the professionals! And our Education Team is here to help – whether you're doing it in person, or digitally.
Attend our Education event as a team
This ticketed, digitally live-streamed event is an Introduction to Trans Allyship, framed around Trans Awareness Week. This is our full-blown LGBTQIA+ training, with a chance to ask questions throughout.
Grab a pre-recorded workplace keynote
Bolster your event with a pre-recorded workplace keynote – grab it via our store, and our Education Team will send you a private link in early November. The keynote's yours to stream together, or share with the team to view whenever suits you (until November 29!). Maximum convenience, minimum effort.
- How can we stay up to date on LGBTQIA+ knowledge as a team?
- If someone tells a joke that’s a little off, how can we gently let them know?
- Are there ways we can make our office more inclusive?
BEING A TRANS ALLY AT SCHOOL
Although schools are looking a little bit different at the moment all over the country, there are still some really great ways to inspire conversation amongst students and staff during Trans Awareness Week.
Listening to others’ experiences is another really easy way of inciting conversation, and being open to different experiences from different people. And when someone in class cracks a transphobic joke, letting them know that that isn’t funny lets trans students (and those that might be figuring out their identity) that they are supported. Standing up against discrimination is a massive way to make an impact and raise awareness.
Videos and content
Earlier this year we recorded a wonderful series of videos (with accompanying articles!) all about parents supporting their LGBTQIA+ children. The videos include perspectives from parents with trans children, but the whole series is a great look at supporting young people, no matter their identity.
Plus, we have HEAPS of articles, filled with tips, information, and guides written with young people in mind.
Pre-recorded school assembly speeches
We've created a pre-recorded school assembly speech, so you don't have to deal with the hassle of organising a time for our team to visit you at your school. Purchase via our store, and it's yours to stream and share whenever suits YOU and your team, or your classroom(s).
- What should you do when someone makes a not-so-great joke about someone's identity?
- What are some practical ways we can create a positive environment in the classroom?
- How might our school celebrate Wear it Purple next year, even bigger and better?
Know what's most important? Having a good time!
Trans Awareness Week is all about coming together and celebrating our trans mates, siblings, colleagues, and friends – no matter if you're starting to learn about what gender diversity means, or if you're a seasoned ally. The most important part? Have fun, spread awareness, and share knowledge!