Saturday marked this year’s International Transgender Day of Visibility, an annual celebration of the strength of the trans community.
International Transgender Day of Visibility started in 2009, when Rachel Crandall realized that the trans community’s only dedicated day was the Transgender Day of Remembrance, commemorating the lives of those who have been murdered. There were no days to celebrate trans people surviving and thriving. “I thought, ‘why doesn’t someone do it?’ Then I thought, ‘why isn’t that someone me?’” Crandall told Pride Source.
The rest is history—and the present. This weekend, thousands of trans and non-binary people and their allies shared photos, infographics, reflections, and messages of affirmation on social media. Let’s keep the visibility and support going all year long—because visibility is important every day.
Devin-Norelle is a writer, model, and advocate (and the assistant to the chief content cfficer of Teen Vogue). You can read Devin-Norelle’s writing on zir blog Transparent Gender or in Teen Vogue and them. “Our gender presentations vary, our identities are fluid, our expressions are unique, but we are all beautiful,” Devin-Norelle writes. “Our beauty deserves to be visible.”
Raquel Willis is an activist, writer, and a national organizer for the Transgender Law Center. “Now that we know where we’re going, we can’t turn back,” Willis says. Watch her full speech from the 2017 National Women’s March on Washington here.
Sydney Freeland is a filmmaker whose films Drunktown’s Finest and Deidra & Laney Rob a Trainand web series “Her Story” have received all manner of critical acclaim. “I’m obsessed with sci-fi and comic books—yes, I am a transgender Navajo woman who loves Star Warsand Marvel movies. We don’t want to be pigeonholed,” Freeland writes.
“As much as we want to tell our own stories, our unique experiences help us to imbue other people’s stories with additional perspective and flourishes that add depth and breadth.”
Check out a thing I wrote for TIME. I’m honored to share the page with Greta Gerwig @ladybirdmovie, @EvaLongoria, @RobinsonAngela, and @morrisondp. Thank you to @samlansky for choosing to include me. https://t.co/uGqeBo5fUE— sydney freeland (@sydneyfreeland) March 3, 2018
Brendan Jordan is an advocate, model, and Youtuber with a huge social media following. “I am a proud gay teen, and I identify as a gender-fluid person and I am very open with that,” Jordan says. “I am not interested in labels.”
Lambda Legal, which calls itself the “oldest and largest national legal organization litigating and advocating for LGBTQ people & everyone living with HIV,” has been leading the charge on a number of civil rights cases that affect the trans community.
It’s Trans Day of Visibility. It’s been a rough year, but we actually have a lot of victories to be proud of. Read more from our Trans Rights Project. #TDOV #LGBTQ https://t.co/fWKIBqa1Db— Lambda Legal (@LambdaLegal) March 31, 2018
Laverne Cox is an actress, advocate, and trailblazer. In addition to the many awards she’s received for her advocacy, Cox was the first openly trans person to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy in acting and the first openly trans person to appear on the covers of Timeand Cosmo.“I hope that people understand now, particularly millennials, that we’ve got to vote,” Cox says. “That who we vote for matters, just in terms of our survival.”
Sarah McBride is the author of Tomorrow Will Be Different, a memoir about gender identity and the gender equality movement, a progressive advocate, and the National Press Secretary at the Human Rights Coalition. “What I always try to tell folks is ‘you are the best expert in what you need, and what is best for you.’ That may mean being out, it may mean being not being out. It may mean being out in certain circumstances,” McBride says.
“And I think we as a community need to give people the space to decide for themselves and to move forward with how they feel is best for their safety and their well-being.”
Alok Vaid-Menon is a gender non-conforming performance artist, writer, organizer, and author of the poetry collection Femme in Public. “Representation for me isn’t just about what you see—it’s about who’s writing it, who’s filming it, who’s directing it, etc. It’s holistic,” Vaid-Menon says.
“So what I would like us to do is to actually support trans talent at all levels, not just in front of the camera. We need trans poets, writers, teachers, photographers, directors, trans everything!”
Janet Mock is an advocate, the author of Redefining Realnessand Surpassing Certainty: What My Twenties Taught Me,host of the podcast Never Before with Janet Mock, and the founder of #GirlsLikeUs and #TransBookDrive. “Anytime that we—and when I say ‘we,’ I mean feminine people, trans feminine folk, women—do anything that is centered on our own pleasure or desire, it’s seen as frivolous,” Mock says.
“But learning how to love your own body and finding pleasure in something that has brought you pain [in the past] is so important.” We can’t wait to hear Mock’s talk at the Girlboss Rally in a few weeks. <3
OutServe-SLDN calls itself the “the nation’s largest advocacy, support and legal services organization dedicated to the LGBT Military community.” They have been a leader on fighting the Trans Military Ban through litigation, media campaigns, and community organizing. “Alongside our co-counsel, Lambda Legal, we will continue to push for equity and justice and block this unjustifiable animus against the transgender military community through our nation’s judicial systems,” OutServe-SLDN president and CEO Matt Thorn said.
“To all our transgender brethren, I want to reiterate – you are not a burden and we got your six.” Because raising visibility and working for equality go hand in hand.
This is our moment to persevere. Where being transgender should not preclude you from serving in our military, where kids should not be afraid to go to school in fear of being gunned down. We will fight, we will not back down, we will win. #ProtectTransTroops #MarchForOurLives— OutServe-SLDN (@OutServeSLDN) March 24, 2018