Transgender Awareness Week
Transgender Awareness Week is a week when transgender people and their allies take action to bring attention to the community by educating the public about who transgender people are, sharing stories and experiences, and advancing advocacy around the issues of prejudice, discrimination, and violence that affect the transgender community.
Over The Rainbow Apparel has asked our soldiers for their stories of overcoming adversity, struggles, and why they continue to fight for visibility; both as members of the LGBTQIA+ community and as allies. Below are their submissions:
"I'm Lori (she/her), 31-year-old trans woman. My transition started nearly two years ago, and it's caused an uprooting of my life as I knew it, my marriage dissolved, my relationship with my father. I’ve never felt better about myself in my whole life.I’ve never had words for how I felt, and never thought about how I felt until recently – and this is even when I knew of trans people existing, but because my experience didn’t line up with the experiences I’d seen, I never even thought about it being a possibility.The birth of my son was a catalyst for everything, and I am currently working on building a life for me, finally. Even with all I’ve lost I’ve gained so much.I try to give back by helping other trans people especially those of my generation who wound up with similar experiences and are currently acting, towards transition.I also try to ensure I’m visible all the time, even to the point that some people might find it grating, but so many trans people exist beyond what people presume and I want to help make it safer for people to be out, and living as themselves."- Lori
"I plan to keep our fight visible by staying visible. By showing the world we are here and here to stay. If standing out helps others find their light to shine, it's worth the risk."
- Declan G.________________________________________
"Transgender Day of Remembrance to me is big. It's a day to really honor and take a moment to remember the souls that decided to be brave and be themselves, and were killed as a result. It's a day to really bring light to everyday battles we have to go through when we're just trying to live as the person we've always known ourselves to be.
There's a lot of trans* before me that have lost their lives making who I am more "normalized" as much as possible and saying we're out here and we EXIST! It's unfortunate that we have to worry about if there will be another trans* life claimed that this day is gonna have to be about next year, but all we can do is hope that this day can be a reminder of how lucky we are to still be here breathing and fighting.
It's up to us to keep them alive through spirit and keep fighting that fight every single day and all of our fallen trans* brothers and sisters will always be alive in spirit for as long as we fight for our rights as humans. Keep every single one of them in your hearts and know they're alive because of you and I. You are valid, you exist, and you are your pronouns. Keep being strong guys!
- Zak C.________________________________________
"Transgender Awareness Week for me as an ally means that I have to be there for those who don’t have a family who accept them for who they really are, whether that be a sister, an aunt, a friend, a mother. You can’t pick your blood but you can pick your family. It means standing up for everyone. Because everyone is a person. Horton said it best, a person’s a person, no matter how small."
- Nikkie S.