International Transgender Day of Visibility
What is International Transgender Day of Visibility?
31 March 2021 marks the 12th annual International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDoV). This global event takes place to celebrate the success and resilience of trans and non-binary people and raises awareness of transgender rights.
Over the past few generations, we’ve seen a significant increase in transgender movements due to the biases that some people assume about the transgender community.
Although there are holidays to acknowledge transgender people who have suffered, such as Transgender Day of Remembrance, TDoV highlights the positive elements of what being transgener means and aims to take action in changing the biases of people who don’t understand transgender.
What is the history?
The day was originally created back in 2009 by Rachel Crandall, who is the head of Transgender Michigan.
Rachel asked the question – why isn’t there a holiday to celebrate transgender people?
While we have Transgender Day of Remembrance to commemorate the transgender people who have died without recognition, Rachel wanted to create a better way to celebrate the lives of transgender people.
TDoV was brought about to help empower trans people, encourage allies to voice solidarity within the trans community and educate people about trans issues.
How can I support?
In recent years, there has been increased visibility of our transgender communities. However, 2020 went on record as one of the most dangerous years for transgender and non-binary people, specifically impacting trans women of colour and youth. Therefore, it’s incredibly important that we help make change.
In order to support the transgender community, we need to learn about the issues that are important to them. Have a read of some transgender FAQs here.
It’s good to have an idea of the appropriate terms to use, which can be viewed on the Stonewall Glossary.
Listen to the experiences of trans people like Shash and Roch on what the Gender Recognition Act reform means to them.
Raise awareness of trans rights and help to build understanding by sharing The Truth About Trans with friends, family and colleagues.
Becoming an ally of transgender people will help change the culture, making society a better place for the community. It’s important to remember the following tips to help you to become a better ally.
You can’t tell if someone is transgender just by looking
Transgender people don’t look a certain way. You should always be mindful and assume that there may be transgender people in any space.
Don’t assume a transgender person’s sexual orientation
It’s important to remember that gender identity and sexual orientation are two different things. Gender identity refers to our own personal sense of being a man, woman or neither of those binary genders. However, sexual orientation focuses on who we’re attracted to.
Transgender people can be gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual or straight.
Listen to pronouns
If you’re unsure on which pronouns to use, listen first to the pronoun other people use when referring to them. If you must ask which pronoun the person prefers, state your own first, such as “Hi, I use the pronouns she and her. What about you?”
Take a look at more tips on how to become a better ally to transgender people here.
How can we celebrate International Trans Day of Visibility?
The Covid-19 pandemic has limited in-person celebrations, however we can celebrate by looking through useful resources.
Hear from transgender people about their experiences here.
TransEDU provides resources for raising trans awareness including posters and workshop materials.
Gendered Intelligence has produced useful information on the issue of bullying for trans and gender variant students in colleges.
The Department for Health has created a guide for young trans people in the UK.
There are many options for support for transgender and non-binary people across the country.
A database where you can find a transgender support group near you.
A charity that hears and gives a voice to trans and gender non-conforming individuals, including those who are non-binary and non-gender.
A charity to support LGBT Muslims and runs a support group for trans Muslims.
An organisation running events and retreats to help members of the trans community explore body positivity, emotional wellbeing and intimacy.
Confidential telephone helpline offering emotional support to any individual.
At college, we have an LGBTQ+ Society, which provides a safe space or those who identify as LGBTQ+ to be fully themselves without fear of judgement, criticism or discrimination. The society also welcomes straight allies who are encouraged to attend events.
If you’d like to get involved, visit this page to see what’s going on.
We also have a LGBT+ Forum for staff. Get in touch with Lisa Jordan if you’d like to find out more.