November 13, 2020 marks the beginning of Transgender Awareness Week, culminating on November 20 with the Transgender Day of Remembrance. This is a time when people who are transgender and nonbinary,and their allies, come together to raise awareness and visibility of trans lives and experiences. Today, and every other day, we celebrate the lives of trans people and their rights to live authentically, without judgment and stigma, without fear, without oppression, without violence. To date in 2020, at least 34 transgender or gender nonconforming individuals in the United States and at least 350 worldwide have lost their lives due to homicide. One is a million too many. The rate of suicide and suicide attempts among people who experience stigma, discrimination, and a lack of family and social support due to their gender identity or expression is extraordinarily high. That is simply unacceptable. No person should have to lose their life due to discrimination and hatred. What do we do about this? I believe we stand up and we say “No more!” Now is the time to stand with courage and to follow the lead of the late, great Maya Angelou and say, “Not in my house!” (http://www.oprah.com/own-oprahshow/dr-maya-angelou-on-negative-words-video) when other people in our presence, at home, at work, and in the community engage in hatred, oppression, discrimination, and microaggressions. Now is the time for all of us to come together, to celebrate, to love, and to honor one another. It’s the time for us to celebrate difference and stand united. To my friends, family, and to my clients who identify as transgender or nonbinary, I want to say I see you. I honor you. I will stand by you and walk with you on your journey. You matter to me!
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