November 15, 2021

Transgender Empowerment & Awareness Week

November 15th through the 20th is Transgender Awareness and Empowerment Week, a time dedicated to promoting education and awareness around the needs of the transgender community and the challenges they are facing. 

November 20th is also internationally recognized as Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day to honor and memorialize those who have lost their lives to anti-transgender violence.

Key Terms

Cisgender | A person whose gender corresponds with the sex they were assigned at birth.
Transgender | A person whose gender does not correspond with the sex they were assigned at birth.
Nonbinary | A term used to describe someone whose gender identity isn’t exclusively male or female.
Intimate Partner Domestic Violence (IPV/IPDV) | Describes physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse.

Domestic Violence Affects the Transgender Community

Transgender individuals currently face intimate partner domestic violence at 1.7 times the rate of cisgender individuals. One of the barriers that has been identified to accessing support services for the transgender community is transphobia both internalized by the individual and in the community that make it harder to recognize and disclose the abuse

Typically in our society, we tend to discuss abuse between cisgender men and women, often characterizing women as survivors and men as perpetrators. As advocates, we know these stereotypes about abusive situations are not always true. An abusive relationship is where one partner maintains power and control over the other partner. This power and control is not limited to physical abuse, but can also include financial, emotional, psychological, cultural, intimidation, coercion, and many more types of abuse. To learn more about intimate partner violence specific to the LGBTQIA2S+ community check out the LGBT+ Power & Control Wheel

At YWCA Spokane we serve all survivors and empower them to heal and grow. Our advocates have a genuine desire to help everyone who is experiencing abuse. To get connected with our services call 509-326-2255 or text 509-220-3725.

Local Resources

Locally, there are many organizations that support the LGBTQIA2S+ community at large. Spectrum Center Spokane offers both gender-affirming services for transgender individuals and training for the community on how to become a better ally. The Odyssey Youth Movement is another great resource that serves youth ages 14 through 21. They offer drop-in programs, basic resources, and support to those who need it. To find out more about their programs, donate, or volunteer, visit their website. Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual and Transgender persons, PFLAG Spokane offers advocacy, education, and support for the LGBT+ communities and their loved ones. The Pride Foundation, another Spokane-based LGBT+ organization offers scholarships and grant funding to build equity in communities. Another unique and inclusive program in Spokane is the Spectrum Singers a chorus open to all ages, voices, and vocal ranges. You don’t even have to audition to join, it is a pressure-free space for community and vocal expression.

Spectrum Center Spokane has a great page on their website dedicated to local resources for the trans community. This page is updated regularly, so you can always find current information on great programs such as their Gender Affirming Products Program (GAPP). GAPP is designed for Eastern Washingtonians who need these products but can’t afford them while meeting their other needs comfortably. The application is both free and confidential, with discreet and safe delivery options as well. 

Check Out These Trans Empowerment Podcasts

By: Rachel Dannen

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