International Transgender Day of Visibility Monday, March 31, 2014, is the International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDoV), an annual holiday dedicated to celebrating transgender/gender non-conforming people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide. The holiday was founded by Rachel Crandall in 2009 as a reaction to the lack of LGBT holidays celebrating transgender people, citing the frustration that the only well-known transgender-centered holiday is the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which mourns the loss of trans* people to hate crimes, but does not acknowledge and celebrate living members of the transgender community.
Events surrounding the day include protests, actions, sit-ins, poetry events, social events and a variety of other activities that emphasize the importance of trans* visibility is in our communities locally and abroad. International Transgender Day of Visibility exists to build community, celebrate what we have accomplished, and inspire future change.
The above is taken from the Season of Pride website and can be found at http://seasonsofpride.com/. Please visit their site, it is wonderful.
Visibility has been one of my personal goals as I’ve written about in the past. I long ruminated upon what was to be learned from, and what was my purpose, when I embraced my gender dysphoria and began transitioning to my true gender. I decided my main purpose was visibility. I needed to leave the safe, but isolated confines of my home and go out. I’m not one to march or picket, sit-in or protest. I choose to make my statement by going to the grocery store, restaurants, museums, parks, plays and anywhere I desire. As an older transwoman, I missed the pretty, young, petite stage. The years have been kind to me, but it is still common for me to be made. They stare at me. I smile and wave back. We both know, but what they get to see is someone who is trans*, out, about and taking my rightful place in my community and the world. Have I ever been frightened or wary? Sure, but I can say it is less and less every time I step outside my door. That does not mean that I am reckless as all of us should not allow ourselves to come into harm’s way, when we can avoid it.
I am lucky to be at a place in life where I can and do go out and live my life as I want. I know many trans* people are not at that place yet, or will never be. I also know that they offer us all the support they have available to give and for that I am eternally grateful. So this Monday, March 31, 2014, I will not be at a rally or a protest. I will not carry a sign or deliver a speech. I support with my whole being those trans* people who do and will. I, instead, will be the transwoman buying plants for her planter, having lunch at a sidewalk café with friends, picking produce at the farmers’ market and walking my little dog. Not just one day of the year, but everyday. If I’m looked at and made, I’ll smile and wave, but I will not be forced to be invisible. I will not be forced to hide. I will not be forced to be ashamed of who I am. This is how I will celebrate the International Transgender Day of Visibility.