When is Trans Day Of Visibility
Trans Day Of Visibility is observed every year on March 31st. It was founded in 2009 by US trans activist Rachel Crandall because she believed that there was a lack of recognition of transgender people within the LGBTQ+ community.
At the time, the only specific trans-centred day in the LGBTQ+ calendar was the Trans Day Of Remembrance, created to allow the community to mourn trans people who have been lost to transphobia, but there was nothing to celebrate living members of the community. The first International Transgender Day of Visibility was held on March 31, 2009.
This is one of several days in the LGBTQ+ Calendar for gender diverse people. With the other main days for the trans and non-binary community being International Non-Binary People’s Day on July 14th, Trans Awareness Week which is always held between the 13th and 19th of November and Trans Day Of Remembrance or TDOR on November 20th.
What is Trans Day Of Visibility
As the name suggests, this is all about visibility. According to a 2022 poll by Gallup only about 30% of Americans say they know a trans person, although this rises to 50% for those under 30. So being visible is critical for our community. Because we know that barriers break down when people know us personally.
So being able to tell our authentic, diverse, and personal stories that reflect our lived experiences shows us as ordinary people.
But it’s also important because it’s easy for gender diverse people to feel isolated and alone when you identify outside of the norms of a society that has shown intolerance recently. Being able to see others who think, feel and have the same lived experiences can be life saving.
So Trans Day Of Visibility or TDOV allows us to celebrate the lives, achievements and contributions of trans, non-binary and other gender diverse people around the world. It also provides an opportunity for trans and non-binary people to feel seen and find positive representation of real people from within the community.
Many in the community also use it to come out and declare their gender publicly, especially those in the public eye, because it’s critical for everyone to see we’re proud to be who we are, and it’s important to have all forms of gender diverse role models. But it’s also important to acknowledge that due to discrimination or personal circumstances, not every trans person can or wants to be visible.
It's also a time to raise awareness of discrimination towards the trans and non-binary community. And in 2023 the level of hostility we have faced from governments, state legislatures, religious groups and the disparate collections of far right thugs has made life incredibly hard.
The UK Government and multiple state legislatures across the US have targeted trans people aggressively in the last year. Proposing and enacting countless trans hostile bills. So this year it feels like it’s more important than ever to stand up and be counted. To raise our collective voices and say enough, but also to raise each other up.
Trans Affirmation & Empowerment
This year we need to see a clear message that we are strong, united and resilient. That our community contributes an incredible amount globally. We need to shine a light particularly on trans women of colour who are facing staggering levels of abuse and violence. And we need to demand that countries adopt self-declaration of gender Identity.
To accomplish this we have to listen to, and uplift trans and non-binary voices, especially those in countries where the community is treated with aggression and brutality.
Some Trans And Non-Binary Icons You Can Follow
Kissy Duerré - trans activist - https://www.tiktok.com/@kissyduerre
Eva Echo - trans activist - https://www.instagram.com/evaech0/
Jamie Windust - non-binary broadcaster and author - https://www.instagram.com/jamie_windust/
Jeffrey Marsh - non-binary author, activist, life coach - https://www.instagram.com/thejeffreymarsh/
Nonbinaryculture - educator - https://www.instagram.com/nonbinaryculture/
Jamie Raines - trans activist, educator - https://www.instagram.com/jammi.dodger/
Chella Man - trans YouTuber, actor, model - https://www.instagram.com/chellaman/
Alock Vaid-Menon - writer, performer - https://www.instagram.com/alokvmenon
Jake Graff - actor, writer, director - https://www.instagram.com/jake_graf5/
Hannah Graff - retired British Army Captain, trans advocate - https://www.instagram.com/hannahw253/
How Can Trans and Non-Binary People Get Involved in TDOV
As individuals, gender diverse people can be posting on our social media about our experiences, showing selfies and videos of our real lives and telling our stories about the issues we face, our achievements and what makes us joyful. Making ourselves visible. Celebrating who we are.
But visibility only goes so far. The rise in trans hostile media, and the exponential increase in anti-trans legislation in recent years shows how much work needs to be done. Newspaper stories about trans issues that are almost exclusively hostile have increased by 770% in the last 15 years. Television programmes constantly platform transphobic guests to debate trans issues and we still have scant few representation in government or policy making positions.
So while sharing and uplifting trans stories and voices is critical, we need action. Here’s what you can do:
- Write to your MP or representative and demand equality for trans people. Demand that trans hostile legislation is revoked.
- Uplift other trans voices in social media and in the workplace.
- Organise TDOV Days at work or school and, if you’re not comfortable with public speaking, invite articulate trans and non-binary advocates or activists to talk. Educate people about the community and the issues we face.
- Wear your t-shirts or clothing with trans, non-binary flags on to work or school
- Sign up to trans and non-binary supportive campaigns
How Can Trans and Non-Binary Allies Get Involved in TDOV and Beyond
If you’re an ally you are incredibly important to all trans and non-binary people. But, as we saw someone say in a video recently, an ally is not someone who likes an instagram post and says something nice about us. An ally is someone who’s there when the hurricane hits.
If you really are that person then in so many cases we rely on people like you to help our voices be heard beyond the LGBTQ+ community.
You enable us to educate people about trans and non-binary lives and showcase that we are no different to any other community. And you represent us in places we cannot yet reach. It is important to remember that we don’t want others talking for us, cisgendered people are seen debating trans lives on a daily basis. We want our voices to be heard and uplifted.
So how can we help you learn more about how you can stand in solidarity.
For a start you can proudly wear the trans ally flag on your clothing or as a pin badge. We have loads of ally clothing here. There are also loads of resources out there to help you learn about issues we face and understand what it’s like to be transgender, non-binary or gender diverse. To hear trans and gender diverse people talk about their lived experiences.
Here are some resources:
Here are some great books by trans and non-binary authorsThe Transgender Issue: An Argument for Justice - By Shon Faye
Transgender and Non-Binary Key Dates
March 31st - International Transgender Day of Visibility
July 14th - International Non-Binary People’s Day
Nov 6th - Trans Parent Day
Nov 13th - 19th - Trans Awareness Week
Nov 20th - Trans Day Of Remembrance
The Trans Pride Flag
It’s hard to believe that this iconic flag was only seen for the first time at a pride parade in Phoenix, Arizona in 2000, having been designed in 1999 by Monica Helms, an American trans woman and US Navy veteran.
The colours selected for pride flags carry meaning, and the Trans Pride Flag colours were explained by Monica Helm. It’s well documented that the light blue stripes represent the colours for baby boys and pink for baby girls, but the white stripe represents those who are transitioning or consider themselves having a neutral or undefined gender.
The flag is symmetrical according to Helms so “no matter which way you fly it, it is always correct, signifying us finding correctness in our lives.”
The Non-Binary Pride Flag
First seen in 1999 and designed by Kye Rowan the non-binary pride flag includes four stripes with the yellow representing being outside of the traditional gender identities, white for people who see themselves as having many genders (as this is the combination of all colours). The purple stripe represents fluidity of gender and those whose gender sits between male and female and black represents people who are agender (as black is the absence of colour).
Other LGBTQ+ Flags
Find out about all the LGBTQ+ flags we include in the shop and loads more here
Other LGBTQ+ Awareness Dates And Key Events
We have a full list of the important awareness, visibility and remembrance dates in the LGBTQ+ calendar plus some of the bigger pride events and interesting other events here. out about all the LGBTQ+ flags we include in the shop and loads more here