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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 26, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 48
Students across the country participate in Transgender Day of Remembrance
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Students across the country participate in Transgender Day of Remembrance

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) provided support for students and Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) student clubs across the country that participated in the 12th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 19 to bring attention to bullying based on gender identity and gender expression and to memorialize those who were killed because of anti-Transgender hatred or prejudice.

Each year, Transgender Day of Remembrance is held on November 20, so many students held events on the 19th because the actual day of remembrance fell on a Saturday.

"Transgender Day of Remembrance provides students with an opportunity to raise awareness about the bullying, harassment, and violence many Transgender and gender-nonconforming people face in schools and society," GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard said. "GLSEN is encouraged that so many young people recognize the need to ensure that schools are safe and affirming places for Transgender youth, who face extreme levels of victimization in schools."

Student participation ranges from candlelight vigils to school assemblies to Transgender-inclusive school trainings to wearing supportive stickers and armbands. GLSEN offered tips to GSA clubs for additional ways students could work to make their school and GSA more inclusive and supportive of Transgender and gender-nonconforming youth.

The importance of Transgender Day of Remembrance is underscored by Harsh Realities: The Experiences of Transgender Students in School, a GLSEN report released last year.

Harsh Realities found that:

o Two-thirds of Transgender students felt unsafe in school because of their sexual orientation (69%) and how they expressed their gender (65%).

o Almost all Transgender students had been verbally harassed (called names or threatened) in the past year at school because of their sexual orientation (89%) and gender expression (87%).

o More than half of all Transgender students had been physically harassed (pushed or shoved) in school in the past year because of their sexual orientation (55%) and gender expression (53%).

o More than a quarter of Transgender students had been physically assaulted (punched, kicked, or injured with a weapon) in school in the past year because of their sexual orientation (28%) and gender expression (26%).

o Most Transgender students (54%) who were victimized in school did not report the events to school authorities. Among those who did report incidents to school personnel, few students (33%) believed that staff addressed the situation effectively.

GLSEN is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established in 1990, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. For more information on GLSEN's research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, students organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit www.glsen.org.

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