Mar 30, 2022
The Importance of Trans Day of Visibility
Shoshanna Carroll, Education Policy Associate (she/her)
The importance of this year’s Trans Day of Visibility cannot be overstated. Part pride and part protest, Trans Day of Visibility was to created celebrate the individuality of trans people, the beauty of diversity, and to call out the practices and structures that make life harder for transgender people. From its inception a decade ago, TDOV has stood as a day to celebrate who we are, on our own terms, and to rally support for the work that needs to be done.
Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, assaults on transgender rights have risen. As is the case whenever a marginalized community becomes more visible, so does visible campaigning against that community. At the time of writing this, we know there are over 255 anti-LGBTQ+ bills, most of them targeting trans people, that have been proposed or enacted across the US. Over the last three years, anti-trans legislation has continued to grow, and trans people are reeling.
Visibility is being weaponized against trans people. Yet we still choose to be visible. Each day we choose our wholeness in an unsafe and dangerous world. I am visible for myself, for my friends, and loved ones. Visibility is celebrated within our community because each of us is authentically us. As trans people we’ve fought to get here, and we are grounded in who we are. Our identities are true and unshaken. Visibility is for us a way to continue to claim our autonomy, and to stand up for those coming after us. Our text messages to each other express concern, to mind ourselves, to take mental health rest, to find a way to smile, but the cost is mounting. We are facing a systematic approach of erasure and human rights denials. We need your help!
TDOV is a reminder that visibility comes with a cost, and we ask allies to find ways to amplify your trans friends’ and family members' voices. For those reading this and wanting to help, I ask why does being me day in and day out cost me everything? Why are trans people asked to celebrate our visibility when in many ways it can be a burden because most days society uses it against us? Does my visibility not deserve protection? Am I worth the cost? What are you doing to ensure that my visibility endures to next year?
I am visible and I celebrate Trans Day of Visibility so that one day when a trans person comes out they do not have to wage the same daily battles I do. I have been around for every Trans Day of Visibility, and each year I know it is someone else’s first. It is my hope that a decade from now TDOV is all Pride and there is no longer the need to protest, but until that day you will find me visibly fighting alongside you!
Join us and help us all work toward a safer future!