Gov. Kathy Hochul on Nov. 3 issued a proclamation declaring November Transgender Awareness Month.
The Hochul administration earlier this year announced $1 million in new funding for suicide prevention programs to support trans, gender non-conforming and non-binary youth in New York. As of Nov. 3, she announced, the Office of Mental Health is accepting grant proposals for the funds, which are an expansion of the Lorena Borjas Transgender Wellness and Equity Fund.
On November 20, which is recognized as Trans Day of Remembrance, 16 sites across New York — including 1 World Trade Center, Niagara Falls, and Moynihan Train Station — will be lit in pink, white, and blue in honor of the colors of the Trans Flag. The Trans Flag will also be raised over the New York State Capitol.
“Transgender Awareness Month is not only a month to celebrate the invaluable contributions that transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary communities have made to our state, but also a time to confront the misconceptions that breed discrimination and violence against transgender people,” Hochul said in a written statement.
She added, “my administration remains dedicated to strengthening resources and protections for transgender New Yorkers so that every individual in our state can live free from discrimination and be valued for who they are.”
Among other announcements, the governor said the state’s Office of Employee Relations is releasing an email pronouns guide to help state agencies facilitate best practices for inclusive email signatures. The state is also provide guidance directing state agencies to use a new standard sign for single occupancy or gender neutral bathrooms in state facilities.
Transgender Day of Remembrance has been commemorated each year since trans advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith planned a vigil on November 20, 1999 in memory of Rita Hester, a trans woman who was murdered on that day in 1998. Other events to commemorate it this year include a vigil at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center.