Transgender Day of Visibility is an international event on March 31 dedicated to recognizing the resilience and accomplishments of the transgender community. On this day, we celebrate the transgender population amongst us, raise awareness about the struggles that they face, and advocate for more protected rights for them in a bid to reform society and empower this community — as it so rightfully deserves. Let’s join hands together with the trans community to celebrate not ‘fitting in’ when we all yearn to stand out!
History of Transgender Day of Visibility
There is no doubt that the transgender community continues to face discrimination worldwide. Be it in the workplace, schools, or society, it has been subjected to immense harassment and inequality in every part of the world for the ‘sin’ of being born different.
Rachel Crandall, a U.S.-based transgender activist, founded this day in 2009 to raise awareness for the incredible burden of discrimination the community faces in every setting imaginable. The need to bring a day of ‘visibility’ for the transgender community is indicative of the oppression they face in many sectors of life. Crandall wanted to highlight the fact that the only transgender-centric day that is internationally recognized is Transgender Day of Remembrance, which is in mourning of members of the community who had lost their lives, and that there was no day to pay homage to living transgender people. By 2014, the day was observed by activists in Ireland and Scotland while, in 2015, many transgender people took part in the event by participating in social media campaigns. They successfully made the day go viral by posting selfies and personal stories.
Therefore, on Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31, annually, we recognize and revere their contributions, successes, and relentless resilience in standing tall and strong in the face of injustice. Through this Day of Visibility, we hope to induce moral responsibility and tolerance, and lift the restrictions on the rights of transgender people.
Transgender Day of Visibility timeline
Christine Jorgensen becomes the first person to publicly transition — or medically complete her transition — in the United States.
On February 10, the Gender Recognition Act is passed, which allows transgender people to legally change their sex and have it recognized.
Canada makes history as it elects the first-ever trans mayor, Julie Lemieux.
The World Health Organization decides to remove "transsexualism" from being designated as a mental disorder and coins a new term ‘gender incongruence’ in the sexual health category of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems.
Transgender Day of Visibility FAQs
Where is Transgender Day of Visibility celebrated?
It is an annually recognized and celebrated event. People from all over the world participate in whichever way they can, including having discussions, taking direct actions, hosting rallies, going to a concert, or sharing on social media.
What does it mean to be transgender?
There are different definitions of being transgender to different people. The most common definition of a transgender person is someone whose gender identity turns out to be different from the gender they were thought to be at birth.
Why is Transgender Day of Visibility an important holiday?
Transgender Day of Visibility is an extremely important holiday because intolerance, hate, and harassment for the transgender community have continued to prevail for decades. The negativity effectively clouds the contributions of the trans individuals. This day is recognized to love and cherish the millions of transgender people in our neighborhoods and to treat them as equal members of society.
How to Observe Transgender Day of Visibility
Read up on trans lives
The least you can do for the community is to have your knowledge topped up. Google stories of trans people and you’ll find a long list of resources on the topic — most of the articles, unfortunately, are based on subjects like ‘inequality,’ ‘discrimination,’ ‘transphobia,’ and ‘violence.’
Share statistics, updates, and news
Use social media platforms to make people aware of how transgender people have left a notable mark on the world. Share articles, statistics, and celebrate your favorite transgender-centric achievement in history with the hashtag #TransgenderDayOfVisibility. Spread the love we so obviously lack!
Attend an event, meet transgender people, and make memories
Yep, there is definitely going to be a Transgender Day of Visibility event near you on March 31. Attend a public event on this day, mingle with different people, and make new friends. Take pictures and think of beautiful captions to summarize whatever you learned about the trans community when you upload them to social media!
5 Facts About Transgender People That Will Blow Your Mind
There are different types of transgender people
The most common types of trans people are trans women, trans men, and non-binary people — trans women are women who were AMAB (assigned male at birth) and transitioned to female; trans men are men who were AFAB (assigned female at birth); and non-binary people are people who do not identify with male or female (and may be AFAB or AMAB).
The first trans Emmy Award nominee
In 2014, Laverne Cox became the first transgender person to be nominated for an Emmy Award for her role as Sophia Burset in "Orange Is the New Black."
Caitlyn Jenner became Twitter famous within hours
It took five hours for Caitlyn Jenner to hit one million followers on Twitter.
Transgender people make up 1% of the U.S. population
There are more than 1.4 million people who identify as transgender in the United States.
Gender confirmation surgery costs $15,500
That’s merely an estimated figure, however, gender confirmation surgery (previously wrongfully referred to as 'sex reassignment surgery') can cost up to $50,000, and some can be as pricey as $100,000!
Why Transgender Day of Visibility Is Important
Trans people have a hard life
In July 2017, the U.K. government launched a survey to gather more information about the experiences of LGBT people in the U.K. Over 108,000 people participated, making it the largest national survey of LGBT people in the world up to that point. The findings showed that LGBT people were less satisfied with their lives than the average citizen, two in five experienced harassment because they were LGBT, and 24% accessed mental health services in the 12 months before that.
Being transgender is not a crime!
Why hold somebody accountable for something they have no control over? Importantly, why attach negative connotations to transgender individuals at all? Being born transgender is in no way a cause for distress — it is the way people react to their status that negatively affects the well-being of trans individuals.
They have contributed to the world as much as cisgender people
They have had just as much of a visible impact on society. We need this day to celebrate and remind the trans community that the value of their lives, accomplishments on international platforms, and contributions to history are not forgotten.
Transgender Day of Visibility dates