COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Central Ohio organizations are honoring Transgender Awareness Week through Saturday, as violence against trans people remains at an all-time high. 

Recognized this week, Transgender Awareness Week raises visibility for trans individuals and addresses issues within the community. The week-long observance culminates in Transgender Day of Remembrance on Sunday to honor the memory of those lost from anti-trans violence. 

At Ohio State University, the Center for Belonging and Social Change is participating in a series of events that honor, empower, and support those who are transgender. One event is a workshop Tuesday designed for gaining a greater understanding of trans identities and societal systems that affect the community. Learn more here

Trans Talk, a monthly storytelling event for and by the trans community, is hosting an open-mic event Friday for trans people to share their journey with visibility. Learn more here

On Saturday, central Ohio photographer Vincent-Natasha Gay will unveil “This is Trans,” a gallery at Stonewall Columbus that showcases diverse identities within the trans community. The opening will feature a wellness fair with organizations from across the city, a silent art auction, and guest speakers. Learn more here

A Transgender Day of Remembrance ceremony by King Avenue United Methodist Church and other organizations will close out the week Sunday. The free event is open to all trans family, friends, and allies to attend. Learn more here

Last year marked the deadliest year on record for trans Americans, according to the Human Rights Campaign. More trans individuals were killed last year than in all of 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, and 2019. 

LGBTQ advocates blame the record-breaking 238 bills introduced by state lawmakers that would limit the rights of trans Americans for encouraging widespread homophobia, transphobia, and violence. 

The trend is seen in Ohio. In April, House Bill 616 was introduced, a “divisive concepts” bill opponents have dubbed a “Don’t Say Gay” bill that would prohibit schools from teaching about “divisive or inherently racist concepts,” including sexual orientation and gender identity for students between kindergarten and third grade.

In May, House Bill 454 was introduced to ban various medical procedures for transgender or non-binary minors, and in June came House Bill 151, which aims to ban transgender athletes from participating in women’s sports.