Transgender Day of Visibility 2019
TDOV was created in 2009 by transgender rights activist Rachel Crandall, in response to the lack of transgender focused holidays within the LGBTQ+ community. Prior to the development of TDOV, the only transgender related holiday was the Transgender Day of Remembrance, an annual event held to mourn the transgender lives lost from transphobic hate crimes. Crandall felt that the community needed a pride holiday dedicated to transgender people to celebrate their existence and accomplishments, rather than just mourning the lives that have been lost.
The annual holiday is held on March 31st, when members of the transgender community are encouraged to wear their pride flags and proudly exist in spaces that usually exclude or erase them. Allies are also encouraged to show their support of the community, in order to develop a larger acceptance of transgender people in our communities.
TDOV is incredibly important for the transgender community because not only does it allow them to exist as their authentic selves in public spaces, but it allows transgender activists to shine a light on transphobic related discrimination and hate crimes. Some issues that often do not receive public coverage include the impacts of transphobia on mental health, access to education, healthcare, work, and other resources.
Below are just a few of the statistics focusing on the impacts of an exclusive environment on the transgender community:
- More than three-quarters (77%) of respondents who were out or perceived as transgender in K–12 had one or more negative experiences, such as being verbally harassed, prohibited from dressing according to their gender identity, or physically or sexually assaulted.
- Thirty percent (30%) of respondents who had a job in the past year reported being fired, denied a promotion, or experiencing some other form of mistreatment in the workplace related to their gender identity or expression, such as being harassed or attacked.
- More than three-quarters (77%) of respondents who had a job in the past year took steps to avoid mistreatment in the workplace, such as hiding or delaying their gender transition or quitting their job.
- Of current service members (military) whose leadership or commanding officers knew or thought they were transgender, nearly one-quarter (23%) said that actions were taken to discharge them.
- More than two-thirds (71%) of respondents who have attempted suicide have done so more than once in their lifetime, with 46% of those who have attempted suicide reporting three or more attempts.
Source: 2015 “U.S. Transgender Survey” from The National Center for Transgender Equality
In order to improve these statistics we must continue to celebrate TDOV, so that the transgender and gender non-conforming members of our community feel include, appreciated, and celebrated in any space. No one should ever feel unwelcome based on their identity.
Ways that You can be an Ally to the Transgender Community!
- Practice, learn, and expose yourself to pronouns!
- Educate yourself on different LGBTQ+ identities (gender, sexuality, romantic identities)
- Accept that there is no “right” way to transition and avoid “helpful tips” that could progress someone’s transition
- Accompany a transgender person to the bathroom if they feel unsafe
- Do not assume someone is transgender based on their appearance and be careful disclosing someone’s identity (not everyone is comfortable being publicly out)
- Do not panic over misgendering someone – correct your mistake and move on!
- Correct other people’s misuse of pronouns in the absence of the transgender person
- Do not ask a transgender person about their genitals, surgical status, or sex life. Let them bring it up themselves if they feel comfortable!
- Show up to events that support transgender rights
- Donate to your local transgender advocacy groups or volunteer
Upcoming TDOV Events
MaineTransNet: March 30th, 5:30-7:30, Bangor City Hall
Happy Transgender Day of Visibility!