This March 31st is the Transgender Day of Visibility or TDOV. It is the day that has been designated to celebrate the lives and contributions of trans people. It also is about empowering trans folk and their allies to speak-up and spread understanding of the transgender experience including spotlighting the poverty, discrimination, and violence the community faces.
Unlike Transgender Day of Remembrance which takes place in November, TDOV is not a day for mourning. Instead it is a day to be empowered and give the recognition trans folks deserve!
There are many ways we can improve transgender visibility. In some cases you can take action as an individual but, like most things, the power of our actions is multiplied when we work together. With that in mind, here are some activities you may want to consider on our upcoming TDOV!
1. Go to Local Transgender Day of Visibility Events
There are TDOV events in most communities. A great way to find one is through “Facebook Events!” or by searching using a hashtag like #TDOR on other social networks.
2. Learn About Trans history
Did you know that trans women were on the front lines of the earliest LGBT protests such as Stonewall in New York, Dewey’s Restaurant in Philadelphia, and Compton’s Cafeteria in San Francisco? Do a little research at your local library or LGBT Center.
3. Support Trans-Led Organizations
Less than 10% of grants going to LGBTQ organizations go to trans ones and most trans organizations run on donations from people like you! Supporting your local trans organization (Like Renaissance) keeps money in your local community and helps those who are closest to you.
4. Familiarize Yourself with Transgender Terminology
Gender is a complicated topic and the more you know, the better job you can do of supporting the Community. Learn the differences between gender identity, sexual preference, gender expression, emotional attraction and more. Also, don't forget to support your trans friends by using their preferred pronouns.. The Lehigh Valley Transgender Renaissance Association has great info here.
5. Recognize and Endeavor to Understand the Intersections of Transness and Other Identities
There are trans people with disabilities, trans people of color and trans people of different classes. These and other experiences mean that virtually every trans person views the world in an individual way. Learning about someone’s experience will bring you closer and make you a better advocate.
6. Create Safe and Inclusive Spaces
While everyone is aware of the challenges facing trans people around restrooms and locker rooms, trans people need to be included in all aspects of society. Trans women deserve to be included in all women’s spaces and trans men deserve to be included in men’s spaces. So the next time you are at a party, ball game, music or other event, ask yourself “would my trans friend be accepted here?”
7. Respect Your Trans Friends’ Right to Privacy
While many trans people are comfortable with being out and proud, others may not feel safe with being quite so visible. So, before you out a trans person, ask them if it is OK first.