November provides a great opportunity for reflection for many – Veterans Day, Native American History Month, upcoming holidays, the changing of the colors of the leaves and, for me, my birthday. My birthday is on the 14th which happens to be during Transgender Awareness Week and about a week before today’s holiday – the Trans Day of Remembrance. As a person who does not identify as the gender I was assigned at birth, this time of year is most certainly an opportunity for reflection. In my adult life, I now understand that the “M” on my birth certificate doesn’t reflect the way I feel or how I express myself. My “transgender awareness” has been ever-evolving as I learn more and have the opportunities to reflect on my lived experience as Gender Queer.
I’ve learned there are about 1.5 million other people that identify as Transgender in the United States. Of that 1.5 million, about 39% experience serious mental health challenges as a result of various traumas . As a Trans person actively engaged in therapy and building healthier relationships, I understand that addressing these traumas is vital in making a difference to overall wellness. Access to support and resources can be sparse, especially in more rural or conservative places. Equal access to all of healthcare is a primary reason why I advocate so strongly for education and inclusion and part of what I truly value about the mission of Blaze Advisors and those we work with.
I feel strongly that part of advocacy for others entails also being an advocate for yourself. I’m grateful for the support I receive in my personal life and that I now receive in my professional life and career. Being part of the team at Blaze Advisors means that I can educate my teammates on my pronouns, I can express myself freely, and I can thrive in and create an inclusive workplace where I’m accepted and valued as a member of the team.
This Trans Day of Remembrance, I’m thankful to be part of this team and I’m thankful to have the opportunity to reflect on and honor the lives lost to violence and trauma in the Trans community. As part of the Trans community, I am grateful for those that have lived proudly for future generations to be true to who they are and continue to build a world of inclusion, acceptance, and love for all.
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