“Trans Lives are VALID – let’s talk about them”.                    

Last week was Transgender Awareness week, which was celebrated by a range of people, including students and even celebrities. Despite this supposedly being an inspiring and happy event, many students from local schools remained unsatisfied with the approach that was taken towards Trans Awareness week, sticking posters around boroughs and school hallways with phrases like “Why can’t we support Trans people too?”.

Trans Awareness week is a week in which attention is brought to the issues of prejudice, violence and discrimination that affect the transgender community, aiming to educate others on the topic.

Usually, at school, there may be an assembly or a lesson, where the week is at least mentioned or resources are given to further explore what it means to identify as transgender, explaining everything that surrounds this.

Following the fact that Anti-Bullying week was also extremely close to Trans-Awareness week, and as per every year, was given an assembly, students were shocked and deeply upset that the local schools (e.g. in Dulwich), would not offer the same support for Trans-Awareness.

Some students in the years below who felt particularly passionate about this, spoke to their Heads of Year, but were “quickly shut down and dismissed” in regards to the situation.

Pieces of paper and school resources were used to emphasise a loud message across the school, commenting on the disrespect and ignorance of the school's dismissal on what is an extremely important event that has come to be only after long years of struggle and abuse the transgender community has faced.

Something that particularly aggravated many students in Dulwich, was that teachers seemed to be stripping the posters off the walls and ignoring the issue, claiming that the schools did “a lot behind the scenes that [the students] don’t know of” – does this not completely defeat the point of bringing awareness actively to the transgender community, (as nobody knows what is being done and nobody is being educated)?

When speaking to students across year groups, remarks were made that this was “embarrassing” and “completely ridiculous and hypocritical of schools that pride themselves on inclusivity”.

Many posters and leaflets with angry messages still remain, but I suppose the question we face is: Why are we still so hesitant to speak up on such obviously important and prevalent issues, when we call our current world extremely “progressive” and “supportive”?


To learn more about transgender lives or receive support, here are some links that could be informative and useful: