It's Trans Day of Visibility!
Today is all about celebrating trans people and their stories. Here's why!
So you might think that the transgender community has become more visible lately. We’ve started to see trans models nailing high profile jobs (e.g. Diesel’s November 2016 campaign featuring Loiza Lamers and Benjamin Melzer) and more representation in TV and movies.
But how visible are the trans community IRL, and how much closer are we to trans equality?
Since today is the International Trans Day of Visibility (or TDoV for short), we figured there’s no better time to talk transgender awareness – so here’s the low-down on why it’s so important.
What is Trans Day of Visibility?
Trans Day of Visibility was created by transgender activist Rachel Crandall in 2009. At the time, the only LGBT holiday dedicated to the trans community was the Transgender Day of Remembrance, where people mourn transgender victims of hate crimes around the globe. There was no day that actually celebrated the trans community in a positive way. So TDoV was born!
Falling on 31st March every year, Trans Day of Visibility is all about celebrating and recognising the achievements of trans people around the world, as well as raising awareness about the discrimination the trans community face day-to-day.
Why is it important?
It’s important to shine a spotlight onto the transgender community because, while you may hear a lot about certain transgender individuals in the media, the community as a whole is still massively underrepresented and overlooked.
Everybody knows the acronym LGBT, right? Well, while those who identify as lesbian, gay and bisexual are increasingly being given a platform and voice in mainstream society, the transgender community is often getting left behind. For example, how many transgender actors play key characters in films or TV shows you’ve seen (even when the main character is supposed to be transgender)? They’re barely visible in our culture.
The trans community face discrimination and violence from not only strangers on the street, but from relatives and partners. In a National Center for Transgender Equality survey featuring 28,000 participants - the largest study of transgender adults ever - one in 10 had experienced violence from one or more family members, and more than half had experienced intimate partner violence.
Suicide rates among trans people are through the roof, with reports finding that a shockingly high 41% of transgender and gender non-conforming adults have attempted suicide at some point in their life.
It’s important that trans people are recognised and celebrated as trans visibility goes part in parcel with fighting cissexism and transphobia.
Because basically, more visibility = more understanding, less transphobia, and less discrimination.
What can I do?
SPEAK OUT and do your bit to make the transgender community visible to the public eye! Use the hashtag #TDOV on social media to raise awareness and get starting those important conversations – click here for more details on how to join the LGBT Foundation’s TDoV photo campaign.
The fight for trans equality is far from over, but you can make a big difference today by voicing your support, and by something as simple as celebrating trans people and their stories on social media!
Happy TDoV everyone!