Transgender Remembrance Altar at CSUDH’s Queer Culture & Resource Center. Photo taken by Nova Blanco-Rico.
By Angelica Mozol, Staff Writer
As Transgender Awareness Month recently came to an end this past November, there are many things to keep in mind about how we can offer our support and become better allies.
When looking for support, it is important to first be aware of any local resource centers in the area as not all might be safe or accepting of transgender people. On-campus, there is the Queer Culture & Resource Center that is an inclusive and welcoming space for the LGBTQ+ community and all where any and all information regarding LGBTQ+ matters can be answered. In Carson, Planned Parenthood is one health center that provides transgender services and information. In Long Beach, there is the LGBT Center that provides a multitude of information on all things LGBTQ+ pertaining to health and mental health services, legal services, counseling, social services, education programs and even any events in the area.
Planned Parenthood defines transgender as a term that includes the many ways that people’s gender identities can be different from the sex they were assigned at birth. Transgender people express their gender identities in many different ways. Identities can be expressed through their style, behavior, and mannerisms to live as they please. There are some who take hormones and others who undergo surgery to change their bodies to match the gender they identify with. There are other ways a person can identify themselves as going beyond just “male” and “female”, such as transgender, genderqueer, genderfluid and many others.
Another term to be aware of is passing. This term describes the experience of a transgender person being seen by others the way how they would want to be seen. It’s an affirmation of that person’s gender identity. Another thing to keep in mind is while passing is important to one person, it may not be for another.
Identifying as transgender is something that someone may not know right away. There are people who know right off the bat while some may not fully understand. Either way, it’s completely valid as we are all constantly learning more about ourselves and our identities that are changing and shaping as we grow older.
A way to show support would be to call them by their pronouns and go by the name they choose to identify as. If a person is ever unsure or calls them anything else, make sure that person is corrected and remember it never hurts to ask. Respect should always be given and shown. Assuming someone’s gender causes more harm and distress towards them, so one should always ask before assuming. Please be aware of the tone of one’s voice and their approach.
Unfortunately, there is a large number of transgender people affected by transphobia. This leads to violence, hate crimes, and murder. Transgender Day of Remembrance on Nov. 20 is a day dedicated to those lives lost from the result of transphobia.
A 2011 survey conducted by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and National Center for Transgender Equality showed that 41 percent of trans people had attempted suicide as compared to 1.6 percent of the general population according to Planned Parenthood.
Another way to show support is to work together to build safe and welcoming communities for all. Everyone deserves to have a space that makes them feel safe and have the ability to express themselves freely and openly without any restrictions or pressures placed on them.
Listed below are resources and hotlines for anyone in need of services, help or more information.
Planned Parenthood (offers LGBTQ+ Services)
619 East University Drive
Carson, CA 90746
2017 East 4th Street
Long Beach, CA 90814
Mon-Fri: 10am to 9pm
Sat: 10am to 4pm
The GLBT National Youth Talkline (youth serving youth through age 25)