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How to Honor Transgender Day of Remembrance and Care for Your Mental Health

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Every year, Transgender Awareness Week (November 13 to November 19) precedes Transgender Day of Remembrance (November 20), a day that honors the memory of the transgender and nonbinary lives lost during the year between October 1st and September 30th due to acts of anti-transgender violence, suicide and undetermined ways. During 2020, Transgender Day of Remembrance honors the 386 known lives lost worldwide, including 47 in the United States, and those unknown.

On November 20, 2020, I will light a candle and spend some time in silence to connect and honor the lives lost in my transgender and non-binary community all over the world. On this day of remembrance, I will also spend some time creating to express the many emotions held over the year and engaging in self-care practices connected to reflecting on my own journey as a biracial, black, autistic transgender man with multiple disabilities. Holding space for all the emotions ranging from deep grieving to high anxiety to sparse hope and illuminating joys carried throughout my body this year connected to so many experiences and events.

Every day I get to live more as my authentic self, inside and out, is a ginormous gift full of challenges and triumphs. It is also a risk full of panic and cautiousness as transphobia, violence, stigma and discrimination. across many areas in life. continue to target the trans community worldwide. Throughout my own transitioning journey, I will never forget the affirmation and joy received watching the external gender expression of myself match more who I felt and knew I was on the inside. It is a journey I have not taken alone.

Tips for Allies 

  • Take a part in educating yourself about gender identity.
  • Support businesses, organizations and activities created by and/or supporting transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals during Transgender Awareness Week.
  • Implement or increase gender-identity affirming practices within your interactions, relationships, in the workplace, places of worship and other communities.
  • Take part in Transgender Day of Remembrance events within your community online (and beyond as more virtual events are being offered this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing practices).
  • Challenge transphobia.
  • Take care of yourself and seek support if/when you need it.

Tips for How Transgender Individuals, Like Myself, Can Take Care of Themselves This Week

  • Engage in self-care and self-love practices that allow you to rest and rejuvenate
  • Take part in Transgender Awareness Week and Transgender Day of Remembrance in a way that is healthiest for you.
  • Establish your boundaries and give yourself time and permission to unplug.
  • Tend to your mental health, social well-being, and nurture your body.
  • Take time to connect with yourself and how you are doing while remembering your feelings and experiences are valid.
  • Seek support if and/or when you need it (i.e., support groups, professionals).

Getty Images photo via gpointstudio

Originally published: November 19, 2020
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