Transgender Awareness Week, observed November 13 to November 19, is a one-week celebration leading up to the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR), which memorializes victims of transphobic violence.
This year, we have engaged the community to address the question: “What’s the better trans allyship beyond awareness?” and some of the trans activists in this region have spoken up. Read below to see what they have said!
Shan Menon from The T Project Singapore emphasises genuine care and understanding in trans allyship.
“Being an ally is more than just using the correct pronouns and names. It’s about understanding why these seemingly small things are so important. More importantly, it’s about seeing a transgender person as a human being—a person with real experiences, emotions, thoughts, and beliefs. There are many times I feel like a token or novelty. The difference is that the focus of the relationship becomes about the ally feeling good about themselves versus genuine care for the marginalized person.”
Asia Castelo from Amnesty International Philippines encourages cultivating self-compassion to reach a greater depth of empathy.
“We already live in a cruel and unkind world, especially for trans and gender-diverse people. One thing you can do for us and yourselves is to cultivate self-compassion. Treat compassion like a muscle, something that you can train. Once you get it healthy and strong, you can finally appreciate the human aspect within you. Simultaneously, you’ll also be able to see through someone else’s pain, trauma, and humanity. An inevitable result of self-compassion is a flow of change in how you function and show up to the world. This will enable you to become more empathetic, kind, and accepting—the key traits of being a true ally.”
Shane Bhatla from Equal Asia Foundation is speaking from the margins for neurodiverse or disabled trans people.
“2 in 5 trans people are either disabled or neurodiverse. This is a large enough number for us to not ignore this issue. In order to be a better trans ally, we need to be better allies to disabled and neurodiverse people. This is an intersectionality that cannot be ignored”
Agatha Dafarel from Inti Muda Indonesia speaks about recognizing trans experience and passing the mic.
“People with trans experience should lead trans-related research and movement. Everyone can learn about the trans movement and trans lives, but trans people are the ones who understand how it feels to be trans the most; therefore, we should always lead our own movement and research. Allies with much access to improving trans research and trans movement should pass the mic to trans people, and let us lead our movement!”
Dorian Wilde from Transmen of Malaysia speaks about getting in-depth knowledge of each trans person’s expertise.
“Trans people can be interested and passionate about things other than trans rights. Instead of choosing us to speak or attend your event as a token, really get to know us and find out what else we are experts in. We are complete humans too.”
What do you think? Do you have any other opinion?
As a trans person, how do you want to be treated by allies beyond awareness?
Asia Pacific’s TDoR 2022 Activities in Asia Pacific Countries
On 20th November 2022, activists all over the world are commemorating Transgender Day of Remembrance to create a moment for our friends and siblings whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.
Transgender organisations and communities around the Asia Pacific are conducting events and activities. There are a lot of types of activities; from vigils, art exhibitions, performances, webinars, and even social media campaigns. In this post, we have compiled some of those activities in some of the countries in the region to remind you that our communities are big and strong.
In solidarity with those who lost their lives in the past year, we will fight together to create a better future for our community, so that anti-trans violence and murder could cease in this world.
Below are the details of the TDOR 2022 activities and events in Asia Pacific: