This Sunday marks the 11th annual Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV).
The International TDOV is an annual holiday celebrated around the world. The day is dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments and victories of transgender & gender non-conforming people while raising awareness of the work that is still needed to save trans lives.
To commemorate the day, there are several events designed to center trans voices and support their contribution to the community including an open mic and brunch event at the Center held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and a picnic, hosted by the Gender Health Center in McKinley Park from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Both events will be occurring this Sunday and we hope to see many familiar faces there!
While this day is honoring the trans community, we should also not put the work of increasing visibility entirely on the our trans and gender non-conforming family. It is incumbent upon trans allies to proudly express their love and support for their trans friends and family to help push the social, political, and legal status quo toward one of full equity, acceptance and liberation. [Click here for insight from trans icon Miss Major herself on this topic!]
Here are some ways to participate in Transgender Day of Visibility with a focus on the theme this year of breaking barriers.
- Uplift and center the narratives of Trans Women of Color. The LGBT movement was led by trans women of color who were defiant by challenging oppressive systems. In order to fully honor their work, we must continue to support the trans movement by centering the voices of the most marginalized in the community.
- Respect Trans Names and Pronouns: If you want to be a true trans ally it’s time to embrace pronouns beyond she/her/hers and he/him/his & they/them/theirs. Not respecting people’s pronouns is an attack to their identity. If you want to be more affirming, this is the first step.
- Spread Knowledge About the Trans Community: TDOV is a day to celebrate the trans community, and spread awareness. One thing everyone can do is show their support on social media using the hashtags #TransResistance or #TDOV. Share stories about the leaders and trailblazers of the trans movement; including those in the Sacramento Region Share personal stories that uplift the trans community. Visibility is a crucial step toward liberation.
- Support organizations and resources that are affirming and inclusive of trans folks. Here are just a few of the many groups fighting for funding, services and resources to support trans and gender non-conforming people in addition to the Sacramento LGBT Community Center.
- Trans Student Educational Resources is a youth-led organization dedicated to transforming educational environments for trans and gender nonconforming students through advocacy and empowerment.
- The National Center for Transgender Equality, the nation’s leading social justice advocacy organization for transgender people, works at the local, state, and federal levels to change laws, policies, and society.
- The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund is committed to ending gender identity discrimination, and seeks to achieve equality for transgender people through public education, test-case litigation, direct legal services, and public policy effort.
- Gender Health Center is a non-profit organization meeting the counseling needs of the WHOLE community in Sacramento and the surrounding areas by making our services accessible to the most underserved communities, including the LGBTQQI community and focusing on the “T” or transgender.
- Trans Lifeline, a nonprofit dedicated to the well-being of transgender people, is a hotline staffed by transgender people for transgender people.
- The Transgender Law Center is committed to changing laws, policies, and attitudes so that all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression.
- The Trevor Project is a national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ teens and young adults.
- GLSEN (pronounced “glisten”) is a national organization committed to ensuring safe schools for all LGBTQ students.
- The Sylvia Rivera Law Project works to guarantee freedom for all people to self-determine gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination, or violence.
- The TransWomen of Color Collective supports the narratives, lived experiences, and leadership of trans and gender non-conforming people of color, and their families and friends, as they work toward collective liberation for all oppressed people.
- Gender Spectrum creates gender sensitive and inclusive environments for all children and teens by providing help to families, organizations, and institutions to increase understandings of gender.
5. Educate Yourself: Knowledge is power, and today is the perfect day to educate yourself about trans issues. If you’re reluctant to participate in TDOV because you feel like you don’t know enough, the National Center for Transgender Equality has a resource guide you can download to learn more.
6. Recognize the Intersections of Being Trans And Other Identities: Being intersectional means embracing race, sexuality, class, disability, citizenship, etc. According to Trans Student Educational Resources, recognition does not just entail acknowledgment, it means action and centering trans women of color.
7. Hold People Accountable When They Make Transphobic Comments: Sometimes being silent can be the same as being complicit. This TDOV (and every day), let people know when they have said something that is offensive, because holding each other accountable is a vital part of advancing trans rights.