Transgender Day of Visibility is Still Necessary!

Easter Sunday this year fell on March 31, which also happens to be the day that has been celebrated as Transgender Day of Visibility since 2009.

President Joe Biden acknowledged Transgender Day of Visibility and issued a proclamation, which caused consternation among those who believed Biden chose Easter Sunday for Transgender Day of Visibility. Sorry transphobes, but March 31 has been the day for 15 years. I mean, for those who do not like the idea of transitioning, why are you rushing to the defense of a holiday that’s always transitioning dates?

Anyhow, in a borderline unrelated bit of trivia, Jim Chalgren — founder of the LGBT center at MNSU Mankato — died on Easter Sunday in 2000, which fell on April 23 that year.

Transgender Day of Visibility was founded in 2009 by Rachel Crandell-Crocker as a counterpoint to Transgender Day of Mourning, as she saw a need to not just mourn but also celebrate the transgender community.

“I created it because I wanted a time that we don’t have to be so lonely. I wanted a day that we’re all together all over the world as one community. And that’s exactly what we are,” said Crandall-Crocker according to NBC.

Transgender Day of Remembrance, which was created to remember those individuals who had been murdered as the result of transphobia, has been observed since 1999.

The need for a day to celebrate transgender identity and culture is real. Transgender people face elevated risks for being murdered and assaulted. Transphobia has driven a whole host of discriminatory anti-trans policies. Even something as simple as using the bathroom can be rendered a horrifying ordeal for transgender people thanks to transphobic bigots.

In the end, transgender people deserve the same rights as everybody else. Transgender people deserve safety, same as the rest of us.

The Jim Chalgren LGBT center observed this year’s Transgender Day of Visibility on Friday with a showing of the Netflix documentary “Disclosure,”which is about the history of Hollywood depictions of transgender characters.

“The transgender community is still fighting for basic human rights and an ongoing epidemic of fatal violence, especially against Black and brown trans women. We must celebrate all trans and non-binary people everywhere and combat disinformation and discrimination on Trans Visibility Day and everyday,” said the Jim Chalgren LGBT center on a facebook post about Transgender Day of Visibility.

I identify as non-binary, and while that technically makes me transgender, I don’t usually use that term to describe myself.

However, I can say that I have seen first hand the violence transgender people face. I have read the stories of transgender people who have been murdered.

I know the need for celebrating transgender identity is real. I realize the need to focus on the positive aspects of the transgender experience. We should talk about when people experience gender euphoria, as much as we talk about gender dysphoria.

I hope Transgender Day of Visibility continues to be celebrated in the future, long after the violence and hate is gone.

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