The City of Iowa City will recognize Transgender Awareness Week with a proclamation read by Mayor Bruce Teague at the formal City Council meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020, and by flying of the Transgender Pride Flag at City Hall through November 19, 2020.

November holds many opportunities to learn about the transgender community. Gwen Smith, a San-Francisco transgender activist, created both the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR, November 20) and the web project Remembering Our Dead to memorialize murdered transgender and gender non-conforming people. The week before TDoR, November 13 through 19, is Transgender Awareness Week, which aims to increase the visibility of transgender people and the issues the community faces.

TDoR brings the tragedy of anti-trans hatred to the forefront, highlighting the lives and untimely deaths of those lost to violence born of prejudice. TDoR raises public awareness of hate crimes against transgender people, a subject not often focused on by media. It also honors the dead and reminds the wider population that transgender people are just that—people—who are parents, children, siblings, and friends of the cis-gendered. TDoR gives allies a chance to stand with the transgender community, according to the TDoR website.

Transgender Awareness Week (TAW) shifts the focus, bringing attention to the living, highlighting the transgender community’s diversity, strength, and creativity. This year’s theme is love, emphasizing the need to combat hate with understanding and celebration. GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, encourages community members and allies to share stories about love with the hashtag #TransLoveStories. GLAAD notes that “this could be a story from each of our personal lives and relationships with others, community, and/or ourselves."

Date of publication

Monday, November 16, 2020