Transgender Awareness Week (TAW) is an opportunity for students, educators and community members to increase visibility of the transgender community and to raise awareness of the experiences of transgender and gender nonconforming students, who often face hostile school environments.
For example, the 2013 National School Climate Survey found that 42.2% of transgender students had been prevented from using their preferred name and/or pronoun.
Additionally, more than one fifth (22.8%) of transgender students said they were not out at school about being transgender (this included 3.4% who were not out at all, and 19.4% who were out about their sexual orientation, but not about their transgender identity specifically), perhaps because of a negative school climate or lack of acceptance at school or from family members.
Students aren't the only ones who can benefit from more transgender awareness and education. According to GLSEN's most recent study, From Teasing to Torment: School Climate Revisited, "12.6% of students reported ever hearing teachers or other school staff make anti-transgender comments".
Celebrating and making time for Transgender Awareness Week is an important step towards creating a safe and affirming school environment. Transgender Awareness Week starts on Saturday, November 14 and ends on Transgender Day of Remembrance, Friday, November 20, when communities across the globe memorialize those whose lives were lost to anti-transgender fear, bigotry and hatred.