I would like to start this article off by saying that this is a subject near and dear to my heart. As a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, I have been given the privilege to learn about so many different, amazing people, and hear so many amazing stories just by getting to know them. Some have been the most creative and inspiring souls I have ever met. Perhaps the one thing I love the most about this community is the pride they take in their beliefs that they deserve the same basic individual human rights and treatment as every other human being does; no matter what their sexual orientation, this community sticks up for one another and will never back away from those beliefs. I will never stop admiring that. This Transgender Awareness week, I hope you will all try to educate yourselves and your neighbors a little to see just what I am talking about; it certainly isn't hard to see once you start looking.

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Transgender Day of #Remembrance, which was officially November 17th, is dedicated to preserving the memory of transgender and trans-associated individuals who lost their lives due to hate and intolerance. The fact that this type of treatment still exists in modern society is disgusting within itself, but to see the overwhelming number of those who have actually lost their lives in this sort of conflict is unbelievably horrific. The revolting treatment doesn't stop at murder; 41 percent of transgender individuals report having attempted suicide at some point in their lives, compared to the general number of 1.6 percent. That risk only increased for those who reported bullying, sexual assault and job loss. Other surveys indicate transgender respondents are nearly four times more likely to have a household income of less than $10,000 when compared to the general numbers. Unemployment, sexual harassment and blatant discrimination remain at large in many facilities integral to the well-being of the transgender population; even homeless shelters report staggering numbers.

Trans voices

We as a country have so much work to do if we ever want to see a day of equality for transgender citizens. However, the sharing of transgender stories in the form of professional documentaries by #Google is a good place to start. Google's new miniseries called "Trans Voices" addresses the experiences and hardships of transition from a person's biological sex to the gender identification that reflects the greater whole of that person. Trans director Rhys Ernst focuses these documentaries on the self-narrated stories of Evan Young, Jasmine Morrell and Mara Kiesling, covering subjects like their work, their clients and their families. But it also focuses on illustrating the whole of that person as well; the ad campaign shows that humanizing these people proves that they are so much more than their gender identity.

What we can do

You too can be a major voice in the advocacy of transgender and #LGBT rights by simply getting to know the livelihood of a person within the community and seeing that the members are no less human than you are. We are all human beings; it's time to start treating ourselves like it.