Transgender Day of Visibility – March 31

By Candice

Transgender Day of Visibility started in 2010, led by Rachel Crandall, the head of Transgender Michigan. The day was created to celebrate the accomplishments of folks inside the Trans community, increase general visibility and recognize hurtles being crossed daily. This year’s theme is More Than Visibility (#MoreThanVisibility), so here are four ways to increase your knowledge about the Trans community:

Understanding of the T

Transgender is a term that encompasses the many ways that people’s gender identities can be different from the sex assigned to them at birth. There are a lot of different terms transgender people use to describe themselves. For example, sometimes the word transgender is shortened to just Trans, Trans*, or Trans male/Trans female. Transgender people are diverse in their gender identities (the way you feel on the inside), gender expressions (the way you dress and act), and sexual orientations (the people you’re attracted to). When a person’s assigned sex and gender identity are the same, they’re called cisgender. There is an entire spectrum of identities and presentations within the Trans community. Keep in mind that it’s always best to use the language and labels that the person prefers.


Trans Visibility in Media

Within the last decade, Trans visibility has increased in television, film, music, print media, and sports. Individuals such as Laverne Cox (Actress, Orange is the New Black), Mya Taylor (Actress, Tangerine), Mykki Blanco (Musician), Janet Mock (Writer) and Chris Mosier (Athlete, U.S. National Duathlon team) are leading the way in various avenues of mainstream culture through their accomplishments, writings and sharing their talents.

Trans Politics and Legal System

In 2012, The National Center for Transgender Equality published the National Transgender Discrimination Survey report, which studied over 6,400 responses on discrimination in all aspects of life. Additional studies have shown that Trans people of color, particularly women, face huge amounts of discrimination related to finances, HIV/STI rates, employment, housing, health care and the judicial system1.  The Transgender Law and Policy Institute, Transgender Law Center and Lambda Legal are great resources for gaining additional information on legal services, court cases and educational policies in the United States.

Trans Healthcare

According to results from the National Transgender Discrimination survey, some trans men and women often postpone or ignore medical care due to possible refusal of care, harassment, violence, and lack of provider knowledge2. Trans individuals face unique health care situations ranging from gender confirmation surgeries to basic reproductive exams and care.  In terms of HIV, Trans women of color make up the highest percentage of new HIV positive tests, due to lack of access to testing, education, and barrier methods3.  By providing information  to healthcare providers about Trans health, increasing inclusive language related to reproductive care, and having candid conversations around safer sex, testing and care, Trans men and women can receive the health care they deserve. To find more information about protections related to Trans Health, click here.

To find more information about the Trans Student Educational Resource and the Trans Day of Visibility, click here.


1 National LGBTQ Task Force, National Transgender Discrimination Survey: A Look at Black Respondents, 2014
2 National LGBTQ Task Force, National Transgender Discrimination Survey, 2014
3 CDC, HIV Among Transgender People, 2015

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