March 31 marks the 12th annual International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDoV)! Not only is it time to celebrate transgender and non-binary people but today spotlights the discrimination and violence that trans people continue to endure. Human rights activists also use today to raise awareness for transgender rights.
In summary, Rachel Crandall, a US transgender activist from Michigan, started TVoD in 2009 to recognition trans people. Frustrated that the only other observance was Transgender Day of Remembrance, she felt it failed to celebrate living members of the community.
Earlier this year, a Gallup poll of fifteen thousand Americans found that Generation Z (1997-2012) is the queerest generation yet. One in six identified as LGBTQIA+, with 1.8 percent of Gen Z specifically identifying as trans. This is a big jump from millennials, of whom one in ten are LGTBQIA+, and 1.2 percent are trans. Among baby boomers, only one in fifty are LGBTQIA+ and 0.2 percent are trans.
In recent years, the transgender and gender non-conforming community have seen plenty of wins.
While COVID-19 remained at the forefront of everyone's mind, few spoke about 2020 being the deadliest year for the trans community. To demonstrate, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, released a horrifying report. As a result, the records indicates at least 350 trans people were killed worldwide — up from 331 in 2019.
Trans women of color are most at risk, as they often face many forms of discrimination including transphobia, racism and misoginy. Because of job discrimination, roughly 20% of trans people engage commercial sex work, and may confront additional transphobic discrimination as a result of their work.
In the US, more states are voting to restrict transgender youth from playing on sports teams.
"There is a coordinated attack on trans kids being waged in state legislatures across the country right now," said HRC. "And one of the most common bills that we are tracking targets trans athletes."
Transgender Day of Visibility is an attempt to break these cycles of violence and discrimination against trans people.
As a result of the pandemic, most celebrations will be taking place virtually. For example, the National Center for Transgender Equality will host an online awards ceremony honoring remarkable trans leaders.
This year, Instagram is teaming up with some amazing LGBTQ+ allies to promote all kinds of transgender discussions.
GLAAD created a guide to highlight trans comedians who are using their platform to speak from personal experience with humor infused in their observations. Additionally, the guide will discus shows like Big Mouth and Saved by the Bell.
Out Magazine editor Mey Rude will go live on the Out Instagram account. Together, with other actresses Alexandra Grey and Trace Lysette and supermodel Teddy Quinlivan plan to discuss trans visibility within the entertainment and fashion industries.
With everything going virtual or remote, we understand that times are tough. If you find yourself wanting to take action, consider donating time, money and resources to services working for trans people.
We also suggest attending some of the upcoming virtual events with advocates and allies. You can find a list of trans organisations and charities who need your support here.