“For those who have realized that rainbows exist on the inside. The ones that have stopped searching for gold but have found gold within themselves and have realized that the true value of a human life is rooted deep inside of each and every one of us. The ones that know that the true value of each breath is in the journey of becoming who you are, is in living an authentic life, is in being truthful and affirmed, being colorful in a world of black and white.” Charlie, 2020.
Individuals, organizations and associations around the globe participate in Transgender Awareness Week, to help raise the visibility of transgender people and highlight issues that the members of the trans community face in our societies, prior to the Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20th. Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is an annual observance on November 20th that honors the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence in that given year (Glaad, 2020).
As the Professional Association for Transgender Health South Africa (PATHSA), we are in support of trans and gender diverse individuals, organizations and allies that are taking action during this important time to raise awareness of trans related issues by becoming visible agents for change, through community engagements, sharing of narratives and experiences. We support those that advance advocacy work around the issues of prejudice, discrimination, and violence that continues to affect the trans and gender diverse community across the country and the globe.
As PATHSA we acknowledge that the majority of trans and gender diverse persons in our country still face harrowing amounts of prejudice, including when accessing healthcare. We remain committed to our PATHSA constitution that seeks to promote trans-led, trans-centered and trans-focused access to healthcare and gender-affirming healthcare services. Through our continued support and consultations with professionals who work in trans health, as well as trans and gender diverse individuals and families, we aspire to become a knowledge-hub, for healthcare practitioners in the country, across a variety of disciplines, to sensitize them about the trans experience. We believe that the more educated each one of us becomes and the more aware of the context in which we find ourselves, the more confidently we will be able to enter into these amazing giving and learning experiences tailormade, to undo the power injustices of the past.