Trans Day of Visibility

Young group of friends having fun together.

March 31 marks International Transgender Day of Visibility. Also known as TDOV or Trans Day of Visibility, this annual event celebrates transgender people and their contributions to society – as well as highlights the discrimination they continue to face.

Trans Day of Visibility was created by transgender activist Rachel Crandall in 2009 in response to the lack of LGBTQ+ recognition of transgender people. At the time, the only widely recognized transgender-focused day was Transgender Day of Remembrance, which mourned transgender people who were murdered.

On March 31, 2009, the first International Transgender Day of Visibility was held to acknowledge and celebrate living members of the transgender community. By 2014, the day was being celebrated internationally and on social media – as people shared their own experiences regarding transgender issues.

President Joe Biden officially proclaimed March 31, 2021, as Transgender Day of Visibility, becoming the first American president to issue a formal presidential proclamation recognizing the day. He said in the proclamation:

“Transgender Day of Visibility recognizes the generations of struggle, activism, and courage that have brought our country closer to full equality for transgender and gender non-binary people in the United States and around the world. Their trailblazing work has given countless transgender individuals the bravery to live openly and authentically.”

Here are some ways that you can support transgender people on Trans Day of Visibility and beyond:

  • Attend Trans Day of Visibility events. In addition to attending events that celebrate and support transgender people, share your experience on social media using relevant hashtags to help spread awareness.
  • Support Trans-owned or -led businesses and organizations. Many trans organizations rely heavily on community support. Find local ones that you can help support with your patronage or donations.
  • Learn about Trans history. You might be surprised about the impact transgender people have throughout American history, having played a vital role during many milestones. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the impact that transgender people have made and continue to make.
  • Familiarize yourself with terminology. Language continues to evolve and change. Seek out resources that help you stay up to date on the correct terminology.
  • Understand the differences between gender identity, gender expression, and sex assigned at birth. It’s important to refer to trans people by their gender identity not their sex assigned at birth. Gender is much more complicated than sex/gender/sexuality distinctions.
  • Don’t out your Trans family or friends.  While it may be Trans Day of Visibility, some trans people may not want to be known as transgender due to safety. As such, you should ALWAYS ask first.
  • Call out transphobic or cissexist comments. It’s not always easy to take a stand and call out such behavior, but accountability is huge to the trans community. Do your part to be an ally.

We hope you join us in recognizing Trans Day of Visibility this year. Together, we can make our society a more inclusive, welcoming, and safe place for everyone.