March 31 marks the Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV). The day aims to celebrate the accomplishments of trans people around the globe by spreading knowledge of the trans community in a positive light. Unlike the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), which is commemorated annually in November, this is not a day for mourning. It is one of empowerment and getting the recognition that the trans community deserves.
Trans people continue to face unique challenges compared to what other members of the LGBTTIAPQQ2S (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transexual, intersex, asexual, pansexual, queer, questioning, two-spirited) community may experience. For instance, young trans workers are often excluded from service jobs that have become "rites of passage" for many, as a non-traditional "body image" might not be seen as acceptable by their employer. Older trans workers are challenged by the loss of old references and work history once they leave their former identity behind.
This year's theme is Trans Resistance (#TransResistance). The world's current state of political affairs continues to be heavily transphobic. The trans community has learned to use this type of visibility to mobilize against oppression. Speaking out, taking direct action, and educating others is critical to their safety and well-being. Advocates and celebrities like Laverne Cox, Janet Mock, Jazz Jennings, Tiq Milan and Caitlyn Jenner have worked tirelessly to bring stories and experiences of transgender people to the general public. Nevertheless, visibility alone is not enough to bring about transgender liberation. The ongoing struggles and violence experienced by transgender people demand continued advocacy and organizing from LGBTTIAPQQ2S communities and their allies. The trans community should be free to share their stories and experiences in a way that is safe, respectful and with dignity.
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A message from the OPSEU Rainbow Alliance arc-en-ciel.