Everything You Need To Know About International Transgender Day Of Visibility

A man holding the pink and blue transgender flag

March 31, 2021 marks the 12th annual Transgender Day of Visibility (TDoV). This global event celebrates the resilience and success of transgender and gender non-binary people. At the same time, it’s a reminder of the work that still needs to be done.

Read on to learn about the history of the event, see how to celebrate, and learn why it’s so important. 

History Of Transgender Day Of Visibility

Trans activist Rachel Crandell founded TDoV in 2009. Crandell created the event because at the time no holiday existed to honor the achievements and contributions of transgender people.

Up to that point, Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) was the only major transgender-focused commemoration. It’s a day to mourn victims of hate crimes and violence. TDoR usually comes at the end of Transgender Awareness Week, a one-week memorial to the victims of transphobic violence. 

Crandell saw the benefit of TDoR and Transgender Awareness Week, but recognized something was missing. She wanted to create a day where people could focus on celebrating the lives of trans people. What’s more, she hoped to empower trans to live authentically.

Why Transgender Day Of Visibility Matters

Trans and non-binary people are more visible than ever before but they still face discrimination in school, at work, and at the doctor’s office, among other places.

Even worse, in 2020, at least 44 transgender or gender non-conforming people were fatally shot or killed by other violent means in the United States. That makes 2020 the worst year on record for transphobic violence. 

Globally, at least 350 people were murdered between October 2019 and September 2020. Most of those killed were trans women of color. The data comes from 75 countries tracked by the global advocacy group Transrespect Versus Transphobia Worldwide. Given that 120 countries were not included in the report, the actual total is likely much higher.

TDoV is another chance to honor those who are no longer with us. But it’s also an opportunity to demand better treatment for trans folks. 

How To Celebrate Transgender Day Of Visibility

In his 2020 statement about TDoV, Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David encouraged people to learn from the pride and resilience of the transgender community. 

Moreover, he said “we must never forget those who still feel invisible even in their own communities and who may live every day with the fear of discrimination or violence, and we must resolve to fight for a world where every transgender and non-binary person is respected and protected.”

In years past, TDoV was a chance for trans folks and their allies to gather for concerts, guest speakers, and other performers. Unfortunately, the continuing impact of the coronavirus pandemic means that most events will be virtual in 2021. 

Still, there are plenty of ways to celebrate safely from home. Here are some suggestions…

Practice being an even better trans ally

How you choose to be an ally is up to you, but the most important thing is listening to trans voices. In addition, you can introduce yourself using your pronouns (for a refresher about why pronouns matter, click here). Finally, make sure you’re using gender-inclusive language. For example, say “Hey everyone” instead of “Hey guys.”

Share trans stories

Spend some time researching trans and non-binary influencers on social media. Like, comment, and share the posts that stand out to you the most. Click here to see some of the most vocal trans influencers. You can also find information about TDoV by searching #TransDayOfVisibility on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. 

Recognize and honor trans people around you

According to the Human Rights Campaign, there are more than 2 million trans people living in the United States. Therefore, it’s fairly likely that at least one of your neighbors, coworkers, friends, or family members is part of the trans community. 

Take a couple of minutes out of your day to send a text, make a call, or give a gift to show the trans people in your life to let them know that you see and respect them. 

Learn about barriers to trans justice

TDoV is a joyful day, but it’s also a reminder that we have a long way to go before trans people are equal in the eyes of the law. For example, recent legislation aims to criminalize healthcare for transgender youth, to bar access to restrooms and locker rooms, and to make changing the name and gender on identification documents more difficult. 

Spend some time researching proposed anti-trans bills in your state. If you find any, reach out to your congresspeople and senators and demand an end to these cruel, out-of-date propositions.

Volunteer with a trans organization

There are plenty of issues the trans community needs help solving. Find a cause that matters to you and get involved. Whatever your expertise, you’d be surprised how much your skills can help trans people in need. 

Here are some great trans organizations:

What Transgender Day Of Visibility Means At La Fuente

As one of the few LGBTQ-affirming addiction treatment centers in the United States, TDoV is an important day at La Fuente Hollywood Treatment Center

We interact with transgender clients, employees, and community members on a daily basis. Thanks to these connections, we’re constantly learning how to better serve and support members of the transgender and non-binary communities.

TDoV is an opportunity for us to renew our commitment to providing top-notch care to these groups. 

More specifically, this means…

  • Addressing the unique issues underpinning the high rates of mental health problems and substance abuse in the trans community. Some examples include: family rejection, lack of social support, stigma, abuse/harassment, and minority stress. 
  • Using pronouns during intake, private counseling, and group sessions. 
  • Allowing transgender clients to use bathrooms and dormitories that align with their true gender. 
  • Administering hormone replacement therapy during the recovery process. 

It also means producing content and resources related to transgender substance abuse and best practices in substance abuse treatment. We hope to reach transgender people looking for a treatment center sensitive to their needs. In addition, we want to educate other treatment centers so they can better serve the community. 

Contact Us For More Information

If you’re a member of the transgender or non-binary community who’s looking for LGBTQ-affirmative addiction treatment in Los Angeles, use the form below to contact us. 

Once we receive your request, a member of our staff will contact you within 24 hours. They’ll answer your questions and help you decide if La Fuente Hollywood Treatment Center is right for you. 

If you’re an addiction treatment provider looking to better serve the transgender community, check out our ABCs of LGBTQIA guide, as well as our blog

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