Today, March 31st is Transgender Day of Visibility. The day is dedicated to celebrating transgender and non-binary people and to raise awareness of the discrimination they face.
Transgender Day of Visibility was founded by transgender activist Rachel Crandall in Michigan in 2009. At the time there was very little transgender recognition even within the LGBT community, with the only day of acknowledgement of trans people being Transgender Day of Remembrance which mourned those lost.
Jaxon (Jax) identifies as a transgender man, and to him having the day of visibility means feeling like he is a part of an inclusive community, where all can celebrate similarities and differences.
“It is important to have a day of visibility because it shows cis/het people we exist, and our lives matter. Despite the past and current struggles that the trans community has faced, we are still able to come together and show our strength in numbers,” said Jax.
Transgender day of visibility by Andrea Cardenas Gaviria
Here are some tips to becoming a better ally!
Ask Questions – Ask your trans friends questions in order to better understand them and the trans experience. Oftentimes people gather conclusions based on their own research online but they don’t bother to ask actual trans people about how they feel and what makes them who they are.
Respect Names/Pronouns – Using proper pronouns and names is incredibly important in the trans community because it validates who they are and how they identify. If you slip up make sure to correct yourself.
Put Your Pronouns in Your Bio’s – Although your pronouns might not have changed, putting your pronouns into your bio shows the greater population they’re not just for transgendered people, and it makes it much harder for transphobic people to single out trans individuals online.
Do Not Use Their Deadname – It’s called a dead name for a reason, it is dead and no longer needs to be used, unless specified by the trans person themselves for safety reasons. Trans people often associate a lot of pain and trauma with their birth name and reminding them that this name exists in relation to them is extremely unhelpful.
Use Gender Neutral Language – Try saying “Hello everyone” instead of “Ladies and gentlemen” or instead of “he/she” use “they.” Gender neutral language is more inclusive for non-binary trans folks who may not want to be associated with the gender binary, plus it is also a more efficient and grammatically correct way of speaking!
For more information and more tips on how to be a better ally check out GLAAD’s page on it.
Transgender day of visibility 2 by Andrea Cardenas Gaviria