November is Transgender Awareness Month, and the 20th of November is Transgender Day of Remembrance, which is a day dedicated to the lives of transgender people who have been lost in anti-trans violence.

The definition of transgender is denoting or relating to a person whose self-identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional notions of male or female gender.

 A study that was done in 2016 by The Williams Institute has estimated that there are around 1.4 million people, or 0.6 of the population, in the United States identify themselves as transgender. However, while this is the estimated number of transgender individuals in the nation, the number is not steadfast.

Neither the U.S. Census Bureau nor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ask the nation’s population whether they identify themselves as being transgender.

“A huge issue with government surveys not including options for the transgender and LGBTQ+ community to mark besides ‘Other’ is misinformation and preventing future policy change.” Yolanda Robles founder of CulturaLink said. “Anyone should be able to look up how many transgender individuals live in Illinois, just like they would be able to look up how many women live in the state. The transgender population deserves the same recognition that others receive because they are a part of the United States.”

Large-scaled government issued surveys might generate very similar numbers that have already been estimated regarding the number of transgender individuals in the United States. However, when non-government surveys are issued they are looked at as less official and have room for more error; whereas the government issued ones have a strong system for collecting data and they carry more authority in public-policy conversations.

The month of November raises awareness about the transgender community and it continues to bring to light what government, healthcare, workplace, etc. policies that still need to be created and amended to protect this group. With more notoriety changes can be made.

“Transgender Awareness Month is important because we, as a society, need to revisit the events that have occurred in history and present-day regarding the transgender community,” Robles said. “Through this awareness we gain a better understanding about the transgender community and learn what steps must be taken to better our workplaces and the nation.”

Although there currently are no laws in place for organizations to receive cultural competency training regarding the transgender community, CulturaLink is a strong proponent to being proactive. CulturaLink can help your organization and make sure it is LGBTQ+ welcoming for employees, those being treated, someone using your services and more.