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Transgender Awareness Week starts today. Here’s what you should know

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06:20 - Source: CNN
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CNN —  

Starting today, members of the transgender community will recognize Transgender Awareness Week. But it’s not only a chance for them to connect – it’s also a chance for their allies to show up.

Here’s what you should know.

What is it?

Transgender Awareness Week takes place every year between November 13 and 19, and it’s a time for transgender people and their allies to highlight the community, share their stories and talk about the issues they face every day.

It’s also a chance to educate the public, said Gillian Branstetter, spokeswoman for the National Center for Transgender Equality.

Members of the transgender and gender non-binary community and their allies gather to celebrate International Transgender Day of Visibility, on March 31, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.
Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images
Members of the transgender and gender non-binary community and their allies gather to celebrate International Transgender Day of Visibility, on March 31, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

“Only one in four Americans knows a trans person personally,” she said. “And even then, it is still important for people who are not transgender themselves to understand who we are and the issues we face and the barriers that are too often put in our way.”

It always runs in the week leading up to November 20, the Transgender Day of Remembrance.

How is it marked?

Across the country, communities hold different events and activities to help people recognize Transgender Awareness Week, said Alex Schmider, associate director of transgender representation at GLAAD.

“People will screen films that are made by trans creators, they will have arts shows,” he said. “Many of the LGBTQ centers across the country will host panels and events that are open to the public for people to learn.” Some companies, he said, seek out transgender people to come into their workplaces and talk about inclusion.

What’s the Transgender Day of Remembrance?

The Transgender Day of Remembrance (or TDOR) is held every year on November 20 to memorialize the transgender people who have lost their lives as a result of anti-transgender violence. Vigils are held all over the country, by different organizations and churches.