Trans Day of Visibility

Members of the transgender and gender non-binary community and their allies gather to celebrate International Transgender Day of Visibility, March 31, 2017 at the Edward R. Roybal Federal Building in Los Angeles, California. International Transgender Day of Visibility is dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide. / AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck

International Transgender Day of Visibility was Friday, March 31, and it was marked by protests and celebrations in the U.S. and across the world. Trans Day of Visibility was created in 2009 by Rachel Crandall-Crocker. She organized the event to celebrate the achievements and resistance of transgender people.

Today, resistance is needed more than ever. Anti-trans laws are on the rise across the U.S. According to the ACLU, 452 anti-trans bills have been introduced into state legislatures. In Idaho and Indiana, bans on gender-affirming care for minors were recently passed, while in Kansas, the state legislature passed a bill to ban trans women and girls from participating in sports teams consistent with their gender identity. All of this comes during a wave of attacks by far-right media on so-called “gender ideology” – which has been a rallying cry for the far-right to launch these attacks.

In response to these attacks, thousands of people came out across the country to protest on March 31. The testimony from trans youth at these rallies completely destroyed the narrative being pushed by the far-right that gender-affirming care for minors is harmful. Rhydian Gonzalez, an 18-year-old student, said, “Transitioning saved my life and so many others and I think it’s so important that people understand that…Without it I don’t think I would be here.”

Trans Day of Visibility is an important moment to call attention to this form of oppression. But we must fight througout the year against these attacks on trans people and celebrate our continued resistance!