Recognizing International Transgender Day of Visibility

Laverne-Cox-Featured-Image-QuoteHandwriting by Marisa Mangum

International Transgender Day of Visibility is recognized annually on March 31. It represents an opportunity to express support for the trans community, to raise awareness for the discrimination and inequality the community still faces, and to acknowledge the contributions this community and its supporters have made.

“Transgender” itself refers to a person whose gender identity is different from the sex assigned at birth. Transgender individuals may be male or female, or they may identify outside of the binary spectrum as nonbinary, agender, etc. It’s incredibly important to celebrate the lives and identity of the transgender community, to provide visibility for them, and to educate others on the trans community. Transgender individuals face several challenges such as hate violence, a social stigma, and limited access to healthcare.

The Trans Student Educational Resources has reported devastating statistics related to transphobia and unfair treatment. For instance, 41 percent of transgender people have attempted suicide. The Human Rights Campaign reported that by November 2017, at least 28 transgender individuals were fatally shot or killed through other violent actions in 2017. And one in five transgender people have experienced homelessness at a moment in their lives, according to TSER. 

Rachel Crandall, the executive director and co-founder of Transgender Michigan, created International Transgender Day of Visibility. It has evolved into an international movement that is now celebrated everywhere from North America and Brazil to France and Russia. The theme for this year’s International Transgender Day of Visibility is “surviving, thriving” (#TransThriving). “Surviving, thriving” provides us with the opportunity to celebrate the trans community’s accomplishments, especially in an increasingly challenging environment.

There are several ways we can all get involved to raise awareness for the trans community and educate others on the issues this community faces.

1. Learn about, and educate others on, the history of the trans community. Spread awareness about the issues they face.
2. Attend an International Transgender Day of Visibility event near you.
3. Stand up for the rights of the trans community and listen to their stories.
4. Never make assumptions. For instance, be respective about confidentiality and disclosures. Listen to the pronouns they are using.

At The Little Market, we are committed to an inclusive environment, both internally and with the artisan groups we partner with. One of our key values is to respect and advocate for human rights. We work with artisan groups that promote access to equitable employment and other opportunities for marginalized communities. We expect them to protect and uphold the human rights of artisans regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, age, ability or disability, or any markers of identity. We look for artisan groups working with individuals in disadvantaged communities and strive to bring attention to the social issues they face. Please join us in supporting human rights and universal values and protecting the rights of the trans community.

Sources

Bustle – 8 Ways To Participate In Transgender Day Of Visibility
GLAAD – GLAAD celebrates Transgender Day of Visibility 2017
GLAAD – Transgender Day of Visibility celebrates the trans community
GLAAD – Tips for Allies of Transgender People
Human Rights Campaign – Understanding the Transgender Community
Human Rights Campaign – Violence Against the Transgender Community in 2017
Trans Student Educational Resources

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