International Transgender Day of Visibility, which is recognized on March 31, is a day to celebrate the achievement and strength of transgender and gender non-conforming individuals.
Activist Rachel Crandall-Crocker, who founded the day in 2009, said that Transgender Day of Visibility was to honor the resilience of members of the community and the lives lost within the community. When it was first celebrated, Transgender Day of Remembrance was the only day centered around transgender and gender non-conforming people.
International Transgender Day of Visibility now offers a day for the community to be celebrated while recognizing and raising awareness of the challenges still faced. Emphasis is placed on addressing the persistent violence the community faces, especially Black transgender women.
Housing insecurity, homelessness and sexual assault are just a few dangers the community is vulnerable to, but violence in the form of failing to use preferred pronouns, deadnaming and more continues to be just as prevalent and problematic.
The Human Rights Campaign breaks down the ways in which society creates a culture of violence for transgender and gender non-confirming people. The creation of anti-trans stigma, like lack of familial acceptance, harmful political climate and cultural marginalization and invisibility leads to a lack of opportunities and risks including the following:
- Intimate partner violence and sexual assault
- Engagement in survival sex work
- Poverty and homelessness
- Physical and mental health disparities
These problems are furthered by employment discrimniation, barriers to legal identification, policing and the criminal justice system, exclusion from health care and social services, racism and more.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, in 2020, at least 44 transgender or gender non-conforming people were killed, the highest number it’s been since the campaign began tracking these numbers in 2013.
It’s important to note that the number cannot be official because many deaths go unreported or misreported.
Resources for transgender and non-confirming people at the Long Beach level include:
- The LGBTQ Center Long Beach, which provides a variety of resources from health service screenings, access to mental health therapists, free legal services to housing availability and educational seminars
- CSULB Transgender Empowerment & Advocacy, an inclusive space for CSULB students that are transgender, non-binary, gender-nonconforming, genderqueer, questioning or anyone else along those spectrums
- CSULB Queer & Allies Club, an organizaton creating a safe space for anyone, regardless of sexual orietation and gender identity, to promote tolerance and acceptance and raise awareness of LGBTQIAP+ experiences
- Long Beach Trans Pride, which is a festival in Long Beach to highlight, empower and normalize trans and non-binary folks, according to their website. But, the website has a resource page at the local and national level
- Trans Care Team is a team at Counseling and Psychological Services at CSULB to provide affirming care to transgender and gender diverse students, as well as advocate and support the mental wellness and academic success for transgender and gender diverse students
- City of Long Beach has a list of resources available to the LGBTQ community, including services for reporting a hate crime, getting access to HIV treatment or prevention services and more
Currently, the Trans Health Program at the LGBTQ Center Long Beach is creating a Transgender Day of Visibility Community Spotlight video focusing on the theme of “Trans Joy.” Check out their Twitter to stay informed about this and other events.
The Trans Lifeline connects transgender people to resources and support, all led by transgender folks. Visit the website or call (877) 565-8860 to learn more or get connected.