International Transgender Day of Visibility
International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) is an annual event occurring on March 31 dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide, as well as a celebration of their contributions to society.
US-based transgender activist Rachel Crandall of Michigan found this day in 2009. It was a reaction to the lack of LGBT recognition of transgender people. Citing the frustration that the only well-known transgender-centered day was the Transgender Day of Remembrance. It mourned the murders of transgender people but did not acknowledge and celebrate living members of the transgender community. The first International Transgender Day of Visibility was on March 31, 2009. The U.S.-based youth advocacy organization Trans Student Educational Resources spearheaded since then. In 2014, activists observed this day across the world.
There has no doubt been an increase in visibility in recent years, with an estimated 37% of Americans personally knowing someone who is transgender. That is an impressive number considering that it may be an underestimation in that there are likely people that personally know a transgender person and are just unaware.
People created TDOV in reaction to the lack of LGBTQ+ days of recognition. Also, for the successes achieved by trans people. TDOV is a much-needed day of empowerment, celebrating the lives and achievements of our transgender and gender-expansive loved ones.
As trans allies, TDOV gives us a once-a-year opportunity to spread the word that #TransLivesMatter. However, as allies, we need always look for opportunities to hold space for our trans loved ones and celebrate and recognize their many accomplishments.
These people want nothing more than for you to see them as they know themselves to be. A peaceful fading into the background, just another man or woman walking past you in the grocery store, the epitome of: “Keep it moving. There’s nothing to see here folks”. They want to live their life as their authentic self. They got a different gender at birth be noticeable or noteworthy. Maybe that is at the heart of the difference. Perhaps that is what separates the visible from the invisible.