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Trans Day of Visibility

advocacy nonbinary tdov trans Mar 30, 2023

Today is Trans Day of Visibility (TDOV). It is celebrated on March 31st every year to honor the lives and contributions of the trans community. TDOV serves as a reminder that transgender individuals exist, always have, and aren’t going anywhere. It is a day to acknowledge, respect, and celebrate the trans community, while also bringing awareness to issues the trans community face such as discrimination, poverty and violence. 

Trans Day of Visibility began in 2009, thanks to Rachel Crandall-Crocker. She wanted a day to celebrate joy and happiness in the trans community to counter all the hate, violence and discrimination shown to the trans community. It wasn’t until 2021 for the White House to officially proclaim March 31, 2021 as Trans Day of Visibility by president Joe Biden. 

Trans as an Umbrella Term

Language evolves and is fluid. Trans is an umbrella term for anyone who does not identify with the gender assigned to them at birth. So today we celebrate and honor our trans community: transgender men and women, two spirit, nonbinary, drag kings and queens, transfemme and transmasc, intersex, agender, and anyone else whose gender is yet to be named under the trans umbrella as language evolves. Today is YOUR day. Remember joy, especially trans joy, is an act of resistance. 

We must keep showing up.

Trans Day of Visibility is also an opportunity to raise awareness about the issues that trans individuals face on a daily basis. Trans people are at a higher risk of experiencing discrimination, harassment, and violence than cisgender individuals. This is particularly true for trans women of color, who face higher levels of violence and discrimination. At one point in time, the life expectancy for a trans woman of color was 35, and in today's reality that may be lower than we think. 

"It is not safe to be openly queer, trans or a person of color in America right now, and that is our unfortunate reality."  -charli amáyá scott (they/her). 

We need our allies. On March 29th, I spent my day in Raleigh, NC with EqualityNC speaking up and out for LGBTQ issues in legislation here in my home state of North Carolina for the Advocacy Day. It was empowering to meet some of our representatives in support of gender-affirming healthcare, banning conversion therapy and protecting trans and LGBTQ+ rights. And of course it was incredibly disheartening to see some of the representatives who have introduced some of these legislations.

A positive reminder in these troubled times, we do have allies. It is easy to forget that. I met so many parents fighting for their kids and their friends kids. I saw educators fighting for their students, and met healthcare providers coming in with data and facts for the benefits of gender-affirming care. Some representatives are working hard to protect our rights. I wanted to spread a little pride and joy today to share this.

What I learned from one of our house representatives in my district is that we need to keep showing up. We need to write to our legislators because they tally those messages. We, and our allies, also need to find ways to connect with people and share our stories. During our Keynote Queers session this past Tuesday, Jill Davis and Elena Joy Thurston, our Volunteer Executive Director at the Pride and Joy Foundation, shared this story about a small conversation that happened over a meal. It is possible to change hearts and mindsets. 


As we celebrate Trans Day of Visibility, it is important to remember that the fight for transgender rights is far from over. We need our allies. Today is a call to action to help foster a more accepting world of all gender identities. We have made such progress. Standing on the backs of our trans ancestors who fought so hard to help us get where we are today, let us not let legislators take it back in a matter of moments. Together, we are stronger. 

Here are ways YOU can be a better ally:

  1. Educate yourself. Learn about the issues the trans community is facing. See some of our resources below. 
  2. Use correct language and terminology. If you aren’t sure what pronouns someone prefers, just ask. Stay up to date on outdated and derogatory language. Here is a great resource for terminology from GLAAD.
  3. Show Up. There are more anti-trans legislation than ever right now. Vote. Email legislators. Attend rallies, sign petitions, yet another way to use YOUR Voice and YOUR Power.
  4. Speak up. Don’t be afraid to speak out against transphobia in your communities. 
  5. Use pronouns. Put your pronouns in email signatures, Zoom names, social media accounts. Sharing your pronouns affirms gender and creates a safe space while communicating to others their gender is valid. 


Some of Pride and Joy Foundation’s favorite trans educators and activists:

  • Black Trans Liberation
  • Junior Mintt: a Black transwoman, activist, educator, creator of Mintty Makeup and drag performer. ***
  • Transplaining : Founded by AC Goldberg
  • charli amáyá scott, an indigenous transfemme creator, educator with great hair who inspires joy and justice @dineaesthetics (Also HAPPY BIRTHDAY - their bday is today and we should celebrate her!)
  • Chase Strangio: the Deputy Director for Transgender Justice with ACLU. Follow Chase on IG for information on anti-lgbtq issues. 
  • Syre Klenke: a trans activist and conversion therapy survivor. 
  • Mercury Stardust, The Trans Handy Ma’am. Mercury can help you with all your home improvement and DIY needs. She is amazing, and empowers you with the confidence to take on projects yourself. She also JUST raised over 1 million dollars for gender-affirming healthcare!!! 

Trans people have always been here and we aren’t going anywhere. We won’t be erased. Happy TDOV!

***Save the date- you can meet Junior Mintt and other LGBTQ+ changemakers on Zoom for our next virtual Pride and Joy Parent Event on May 16, 2023. You won’t want to miss this! 



About the Author:

C. Rizleris (they/them) is a contributing writer for the Pride and Joy Foundation and has worked in higher education for over ten years. They currently volunteer with LGBTQ+ youth at the Guilford Green Foundation and serve on the Transgender Task Force Committee for the city of Greensboro, NC. Currently, they are working on a hybrid essay collection centered on liminal spaces as a candidate for an MFA in Writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts. You can find C. on Twitter @rizwrites or visit their website


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