Today marks the sixth annual International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDoV), a designated day for the trans community to share and celebrate their lives and experiences.
Visibility for the trans community is crucial in a world where 80 percent of trans students feel unsafe at school, 41 percent of trans people have attempted suicide, and where 50 percent of trans people have been raped or assaulted by a romantic partner. It is important to amplify the experiences and successes of trans people in order to create community for trans people, and to encourage a space in a society that might otherwise push trans identities and experiences to the side.
TDoV contrasts Transgender Day of Remembrance in that is it not a day for mourning, it is instead a day for the trans community to be recognized and empowered. Rachel Crandall, the head of Transgender Michigan, created TDoV after wanting an event for trans people that is celebratory.
“The Day of Remembrance is exactly what it is,” Crandall said. “It remembers people who died. [Transgender Day of Visibility] focuses on the living.”
In one example of the bigotry the trans community faces, Marshall High School in Michigan began receiving complaints from parents who were uncomfortable with TDoV support from students. A bulletin board was decorated for TDoV and featured facts about trans people and words of encouragement for the trans community. The board was taken down by school officials.
Trans advocates are taking to social media and using the hashtags #TDoV and #TransDayOfVisibility to share their photos and experiences with others.
Media Resources: WWMT 3/31/2015; Trans Student Educational Resources 2014; TransGriot 2/15/2010; Twitter