Trans Day of Visibility 2021

Article written by the members of the GSA Gender and Sexuality Alliance Subcommittee

Did you know that March 31st is International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV)? Each year, people are invited to celebrate the lives, experiences, contributions, diversity, and beauty of transgender and gender-diverse people across the world. First celebrated in 2009, TDOV was created to bring attention to the lived and living experiences of trans people. Rachel Crandall, a transgender activist in Michigan, USA, started TDOV to ensure that trans lives would be made visible not only in death, but in the myriad of ways in which we/they exist and contribute to our communities. Prior to this initial commemoration, the only day that specifically acknowledged trans folks was Transgender Day of Remembrance, which focuses on trans lives lost to systemic and interpersonal violence. You can read more about Transgender Day of Rememberance in our November blog post, “Remembering Trans Lives, Resisting Trans-misogynoir, and Reimagining Trans Futures.” 

As we celebrate trans lives and experiences, it’s important to remember that many trans folks must balance visibility with their personal safety. There is still much more to be done to ensure the liberation of all trans folks, particularly for trans folks who are Black, Indigenous, People of Colour and trans folks with disabilities. We would like to mark TDOV 2021 with a call to collective action, to take up this work together and ensure that TDOV doesn’t mean visibility for some trans folks, but rather liberation for all trans folks! 

Here are some ways to get started in that work: 

  1. Educate yourself and share that knowledge across your networks!
  2. Take action!
  3. Support trans artists and seek out diverse trans representations! 
    1. Vivek Shraya
    2. Sable Sweetgrass Katoiyissa (https://calgaryartsdevelopment.com/sable-sweetgrass/)
    3. Matthew Oliver van Diepen (aka Oliver Twirl)
    4. Rae Spoon