INDIANAPOLIS—A week dedicated to raising awareness about the challenges and misconceptions of being transgender is wrapping up. As Transgender Awareness Week ends, RTV6 talked to Kimberly Acoff with Indiana Youth Group.
"It's just not a week long thing, it's a lifelong thing for trans women, like myself," Acoff said.
Acoff says the work she does at Indiana Youth Group is saving lives, helping young LGBTQ+ people navigate a world that's still hard for them, especially trans folk.
"I think what I and other trans people, especially young trans people, are hoping is that they are accepted," Acoff said.
That includes using the correct pronouns and name to address someone. Acoff says things like that go a long way for those who are transgender.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, at least 22 people were killed this year because they were either trans or gender non-conforming. HRC says more were probably killed becausE, often times, the murder victims aren't identified as trans. It's something called deadnaming when someone, intentionally or not, refers to a person who’s transgender by the name they used before they transitioned
Acoff says hearing about the murders can be scary for her community, especially for those who are young. That's why at Friday's Transgender Awareness Week event, RTV6 wasn't allowed to record anyone who was there.
"To protect their confidentiality and also to protect them in the community because some of their friends and family may not know," Acoff said.
Acoff says that highlights how far we still have to go when it comes to people being able to live openly.