Transgender Awareness Week

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Warning: This article contains themes of death, violence and discrimination

On the 28th November 1998, a transgender woman named Rita Hester was sadly murdered in her own apartment. Her death was given little press coverage at the time and her attacker never found but ever since then, members of the Trans community have sought to commemorate her and other victims of such hate-crimes. As the International Transgender Day of Remembrance (November 20th) is fast approaching, we shall be honouring these lost lives by teaching ourselves about what it means to be transgender. Ultimately aiming to help combat against transphobia and discrimination.

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (also known as GLAAD) have encourage those seeking to learn more, to start by watching the Netflix documentary, ‘Disclosure’. The film takes a deep dive into the various ways Transgender people have been presented in the media and Hollywood – or rather – how they have not been. The film doesn’t aim to provoke a sad response from its viewer but it instead aims to educate us about the ‘ways in which trans people have been represented on-screen’ and how they have been portrayed as ‘not real’ people.

80% of Americans believe they have ‘never personally met someone who is transgender,’ suggesting that the lack of representation and awareness leads people to forget their existence. But they are here and they do matter; contributing enormously to our ever evolving society.

Alan L. Hart discovered that x-rays could be used to detect tuberculosis – a revelation that saved millions of people.

Chevalier D’Eon, an 18th Century French solider and spy, was Knighted and gained herself a Law degree – publishing various books including one about the French tax system and the secrets of being a Kings spy.

Albert Cashier: a heroic solider who fought in 40 battles during the American Civil War.

Roberta Cowell who at sixteen became an ‘apprentice aircraft engineer’, raced in ‘several’ Grande Prix’s and became a fighter pilot during the Second World War.

Unfortunately, there were 350 reported cases of transgender people who we sadly lost this year; the youngest being 15. Although, it’s hard to say if that’s the total amount, since many cases go unreported. This week is so important for bringing attention to such atrocities as greater understanding leads to greater change.

We could go on endlessly, talking about all the influential and poignant figures that have graced history but I believe that we should leave off this article with a quote from marriage equality activist, Lucy Hicks Anderson:

‘I defy any doctor in the world to prove that I am not a woman. I have lived, dressed, acted just what I am, a woman.’


Article Written by Sophie Alexander – Entertainment Editor

Header Image by Christos Alamaniotis – Deputy Head of Design

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