Each year, March 31 is celebrated internationally as Transgender Day of Visibility, an important chance to celebrate the successes and contributions of transgender and gender non-conforming individuals.
Unlike Transgender Day of Remembrance, observed annually on November 20 to remember those who have lost their lives to anti-transgender violence, Transgender Day of Remembrance honors the lives of transgender and gender non-confirming individuals around the world.
At Chase Brexton, our Center for LGBTQ Health Equity is home to the Gender Journeys of Youth (JOY) program, providing expert health care services for transgender and gender diverse children and adolescents, and their families. Across our clinics, our health care teams are trained to provide health care specific to the needs of transgender and gender non-confirming individuals.
We asked several members of the Center to discuss what transgender visibility, and the day of celebration, means to them:
Kate Bishop, Education Coordinator (she/her/hers)
Transgender actor and activist Laverne Cox rejects the idea that she’s a role model – she prefers to call herself a “possibility model." For a group of people who’ve so often had to invent a fulfilling adulthood from their own imagination, the journeys of other openly gender diverse people can offer profound validation, self-acceptance, and inspiration. Beyond the community, the visibility of gender expansive and transgender people is an invitation to all people to grow into our fullest selves. Visibility is what MAKES possibility.
Deborah Dunn, PA-C (she/her/hers)
Transgender Day of Visibility is a day of celebration. It is an annual event that acknowledges the accomplishments of transgender and gender nonconforming people while raising awareness of the work that still needs to be done to achieve equal rights and trans justice.
Randall Leonard, LCSW-C (they/them/theirs)
I will be seen and proud for my ancestors, for ALL Trans folx who are here now, and for ALL Trans folx who will come after me.
Erin Maxwell, Trans Care Navigator (they/them/theirs)
It is vital to embrace all experiences and hear other people’s truths, and this has oftentimes excluded the stories of trans folx, particularly trans women and queer people of color. To be seen is to be validated: the general assumption has always been that transition is purely physical and subscribes to a prescribed mold of femininity and masculinity, but this type of transphobia is extremely hurtful because it discounts entirely the idiosyncrasy of trans folx’ experiences and completely ignores the beauty of these experiences and the individuals.
Dr. Elyse Pine (she/her/hers)
Too often, media focuses on the challenges transgender people face, while ignoring the amazing contributions transgender people make to our society. Transgender people have always been a part of our societal fabric, and for today’s youth, especially, seeing transgender people visibly and proudly at all levels of government, media, academia, education, healthcare, and enjoy parenthood reinforces the idea that there are no limits to what they can achieve and this can improve feelings of pride and self-worth.