Each of Boulder’s communities is an important thread in our city’s tapestry. As such, each deserves to be seen, heard, and celebrated. March 22 through April 1 is Transgender Awareness Week. Packed full of engaging community events and informative activities hosted and presented by trans people, this week gives Boulder’s residents the chance to connect and learn more about trans experiences. Fortunately, our city’s nonprofit network offers ample resources so we can foster a healthy community and mutual respect between all residents. Read on to learn more about this week and ways in which we can participate with and support the trans community in Boulder County.
Words Are Important
Language creates a feedback loop: words shape our reality and thus, our reality shapes the words we use. Often, creating a label for someone can perpetuate their experience as that label, instead of creating an opportunity for them to take on a more positive experience.
We’ve used Boulder County’s Trans Resource and Transhub center to learn more about language. The terms Trans, Transgender, and trans & gender diverse can all be used respectfully to refer to people whose gender is different than what was presumed based on their assigned gender at birth. Trans does not just mean women and men who are trans, but rather all people who believe their gender is different than the one given to them when they were born.
We have long assumed people’s pronouns based on their outward physical appearance. We’ve learned that sharing our pronouns with others is a way for all to feel included and gives everyone the chance to self-identify, rather than hope that someone will use the correct pronouns when speaking about them. If one doesn’t offer up his, her, or their pronouns, opt to use ‘their’ until corrected. You may also consider asking how someone likes to be referred to as a way to avoid using their given name instead of their chosen name.
Above all else, it’s important to use language that recognizes trans people’s diverse array of experiences and support each person who identifies as trans on their journey through life. Curiosity about the human experience and another person’s life is normal, but check your own curiosity when getting to know a transgender person. In the same way we wouldn’t ask someone we’ve recently met a host of personal questions about their past experiences, we don’t need to ask a trans person about their identity journey.
The following events are hosted by Out Boulder County – a wonderful nonprofit resource for members of the trans and cis communities.
Ask Me Anything Panel
When: Wednesday, March 22
As our understanding on gender continues to change, it’s helpful to check in with trans people who are open to discussing their experiences and enlightening cis people on what it’s like being trans.
Trans Job Fair
When: Thursday, March 23
DnD Character Creation
When: Friday, March 24
Yoga for Dysphoria
When: Saturday, March 25
Name & Gender Change Clinic with Colorado Name Change Project
When: Saturday, March 25
The Colorado Name Change Project is bringing in an attorney to this event to assist trans people in filing a name change petition and gender marker. A low-cost/pro-bono attorney referral and microgrants will also be available.
When: Sunday, March 26
Trans & SOFFA Spaghetti Dinner
When: Monday, March 27
In Solidarity: Prison Pen Pal Letter Writing
When: Tuesday, March 28
Trans Legislation with Representative Brianna Titone
When: Wednesday, March 29
Boulder County Gender Support + Social
When: Thursday, March 30
Trans Dance of Celebration
When: Friday, March 31
Celebrate the trans community and the experience of being trans at this dance celebration. Gather at Rembrandt Yard in Boulder’s bustling downtown to enjoy this opportunity to connect with an array of people, snack on finger-foods and sip on mocktails.
Spring Fling Kiki Ball
When: Saturday, April 1
For complete details of each event, visit Out Boulder County. Most of these events are geared to host everyone in our community so that cis individuals can learn about the trans community and become more informed, respectful and supportive. Trans people can take these unique opportunities to connect, expand their networks and find new ways of engaging in healthy communities.