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March 29, 2019

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Transgender Day of Visibility 2023 | Point Foundation



March 29, 2019
teampoint

What is International Transgender Day of Visibility? 

“International Transgender Day of Visibility celebrates transgender people around the globe and the courage it takes to live openly and authentically in a world that violently declares you have no place here, and where in many cases it can cost you your life,” said Point Alum Kerri Cecil. 
 
International Transgender Day of Visibility is an annual event occurring on March 31 dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide, writes Kerri. The holiday was founded by US-based transgender activist Rachel Crandall of Michigan in 2009 as a reaction to the lack of LGBTQ holidays celebrating transgender people. Rachel cited the frustration that the only well-known transgender-centered holiday was the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which mourns the murders of transgender people, but did not acknowledge and celebrate living members of the transgender community.  

Why recognize and celebrate a Trans Day of Visibility? 

Today, visibility and the celebration of the transgender community is more important than ever. Both 2022 and 2023 legislative sessions have produced record numbers of transphobic bills. In 2022, states across the nation proposed more than 150 bills that negatively targeted transgender communities and limited the rights of transgender people. In 2023, states surpassed this prior record by proposing more than 300 transphobic bills. In this session alone, bills have been proposed limiting the community’s right to health care, school sports, the use of proper pronouns, and recognition or affirming education in schools, to name a few. 
 
To combat this wave of hate, transgender students need to be seen, heard, and supported.  

“Imagine living in a world where 90% of the population doesn’t really believe you are real, that you are characters horrifically portrayed in films, or caricatures paraded on television screens,” Kerri said. 

More than half (55%) of transgender students say that their mental health was not good all or most of the time while at school. More than 40% of transgender college students report not fully belonging to school. 

It’s not hard to see why mental health and belonging are so low with the following statistics: 

More than a third (39%) of transgender students experience bullying, harassment, or assault while in a higher education program. 

Nearly a third (32%) report unfair treatment by teachers, staff, or school administrators. 

Despite the obstacles faced by the trans community, Point Alum Kerri said that trans people will continue to persist and succeed in all walks of life. TDOV is about celebrating this persistence and shining a light on the successes and struggles of the trans community. 

“We are lawyers, doctors, television writers/directors, scholars, professors, actors -- we are humanitarians, and we are part of humanity in all its complexities,” Kerri said. “We come in all shapes, sizes and colors and we are here to stay.” 

 

How to advocate for trans visibility 

Showing solidarity with the transgender community on and off campus involves educating yourself and taking action. Point Foundation collaborated with students and leaders to create resources available to all members of the community. 

Allies, familiarize yourself with transgender and nonbinary history and review these tips for engaging with the LGBTQ community. 

Students, use our guide on building power in community, quick tips on advocating for LGBTQ rights at school, and challenging school positions and decisions to build a better campus for trans students. 

Educators, read our guide to working with student activists and supporting nonbinary students. 

“We need our allies more than ever to help us have the hard conversations that will open people’s hearts and minds,” Kerri said. “We cannot do it alone. For those who still fear us, or don’t understand us, how about we have an open conversation so that maybe instead of the back and forth fighting we can have a meaningful conversation about how we can come together for the benefit of all.” 
 
Point Alum Kerri Cecil is quoted throughout this blog. 

Kerri is a graduate and alumni of the USC School of Cinematic Arts and a former HBO Scholar. Kerri was one of Point’s inaugural Community College Scholarship Recipients while attending Los Angeles City College.  

 



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