Hi guys! As I am a big supporter of trans rights, I would like to repost a few posts on this blog that deal with transgender issues, in order to promote Transgender Awareness Week this year. I wrote this post last year to celebrate and promote Transgender Awareness Week 2015, and as Transgender Awareness Week is from the 14-20 November this year, I thought I would repost it. I’ll also be reposting this on The Breathing Ghosts Series blog. Hope you all find it inspiring and informative. You can find out more about current events and publicity for TAW here.
-40% of LGBT murder victims in 2011 were transgender women
–Transgender people of color are also 28% more likely to experience physical violence compared to people who are not transgender people of color.
– As murders of transgender people often go unreported, there is no way to know accurate numbers.
(Please note these figures are from the ‘Injustice at Every Turn’ report conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.)
These are just a few statistics- the truth is that an alarming proportion of transgender people, including teens, face discrimination, abuse and even violence on a daily basis. This needs to stop, and we need to stand together as allies and friends and help stop it. In honour of TAW, and the vital work it stands for, I thought I’d share with you a list of a few of my own inspirational transgender women. Drum roll please, let’s begin! In no particular order…
Do I need to even mention how INSANELY jealous I am of this woman’s cheekbones? After becoming known initially for her androgynous looks, (she walked in both male and female fashion shows,) after transitioning Andreja has become the first transgender model to front a major cosmetics campaign (in her case, for the huge brand Makeup Forever,) AND the FIRST EVER transgender model to feature in ‘American Vogue.’ She’s been in scores of campaigns- I can’t even name them all- and walked some of the biggest fashion runways. Andreja is also currently filming a Kickstarter-funded documentary- ‘Andrej(A)’- about her life and transition, charting her journey from life in a refugee camp to being scouted by a modelling agent whilst working in McDonalds, to working for the likes of Jean Paul Gaultier. It looks both moving and fascinating, and if I had known about it before the Kickstarter campaign closed I would definitely have donated. (Damn!! I just missed it!!!) As it is, the Kickstarter campaign wanted $40,000, and ended up with over $60,000 with donations from all around the world. Woah. It should hopefully be ready for the Sundance Film Festival next year, and I CAN’T WAIT to see it.
Andreja’s inspirational, uplifting story has proven to the notoriously fickle fashion industry that, despite the naysayers, YES, you CAN transition and be a successful, highly-in-demand model, and that transitioning can be just the start of a new, wonderful journey, and that inner beauty is just as important as outer beauty, which she has of course has in spades.(Oh yeah, and her Instagram feed is INCREDIBLE. She is without doubt the undisputed QUEEN of Instagram.) Basically, I’m just in awe of her.
Janet Mock’s memoir ‘Redefining Realness’ was the first ever ten-starred review I posted on this blog. It’s a beautiful book, charting her struggles with sexual abuse, sexwork and the intricacies of life-changing gender surgery. (I loved it so much I even used firework gifs in the post!) In 2012, Mock started a Twitter hashtag to empower transgender women, #GirlsLikeUs, which is now all over Instagram and Twitter- quite rightly so- and she also contributed to the ‘It Gets Better’ project, which is a charity I support wholeheartedly. Since then she’s paved the way for transgender youth by promoting transgender education programmes and has presented at the GLAAD awards. I love her work, and I look forward to seeing what she does in the future.
Of course, this is just a selection of the brave transgender women who inspire me- other transgender women (and men) include:
It Gets Better Project Shop (bascially ‘cos I want their beanie hat. Just sayin’.)