Transgender Awareness Month: Honoring and Protecting Our Community

Each November, the transgender and gender non-conforming community and its allies come together to recognize Transgender Awareness Month. This is a time to reflect on the progress made in the fight against transphobia, remember those we’ve lost to hate violence and bigotry, look ahead at the work still to be done. Now more than ever, we need to be strong and supportive of all members of our community, and steadfast in our resolve to protect those whose rights and well-being are most vulnerable.

One of the most important dates of Transgender Awareness Month is the Transgender Day of Remembrance. This annual day memorializes individuals who have died throughout the world in the previous year because of anti-transgender hatred. Each November, the worldwide transgender community turns attention to family, friends and loved ones lost to violence and prejudice. This tradition was inspired by the senseless murder of Rita Hester from Allston, MA in 1998 and has become a worldwide rallying point for the transgender and allied community.

Fenway Health is proud to be a supporter of Transgender Day of Remembrance again this year, with staff and community members participating in local events around the Commonwealth. You can learn more about local Massachusetts events for this month here. Boston’s 18th Annual Day of Remembrance will be this Sunday, November 20 at 6:00 pm at St. Paul’s Cathedral at 138 Tremont St. If you have some time on Sunday afternoon, please join us at this important event.

The Transgender Health Program at Fenway is working every day to ensure access to high-quality, informed care for trans women, trans men, genderqueer, gender nonconforming, non-binary individuals, affirmed men and women, people with trans histories, and anyone with health needs unique to their diverse gender expressions and identities. We offer access to primary and behavioral health care, walk-in resources and counseling on surgery and hormone options, support and social groups, and many other services.

If you or someone you know has experienced violence based on gender identity, expression, or sexuality, please consider contacting Fenway’s Violence Recovery Program. The VRP provides counseling, support groups, advocacy, and referral services to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) victims of bias crime, domestic violence, sexual assault, and police misconduct.

No one should be subjected to violence simply because of their gender identity or expression. No one should be denied the basic rights that enable them to have good health, safety and security. Fenway Health will continue to work toward these goals over the coming years and beyond.

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