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March 31, 2022

Hope Harris

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We Are Here to Stay - Transgender Day of Visibility

March 31, 2022
Hope Harris

What is International Transgender Day of Visibility?

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. 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. Crandall 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. 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.

Why recognize and celebrate International Transgender Day of Visibility?

International TDOV is important for so many reasons. 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 across the globe like circus freaks for the amusement of an insensitive and oftentimes offensive audience. Many people get their first exposure to the trans community through the media which is why it is so important that Hollywood start getting it right by allowing us a seat at the table. With the recent success of POSE we are finally moving in the right direction, but we need more. We need more proper representation that shows us in all our glory, shows our bravery, our strength and our determination to be true to ourselves.  Representation that shows the good times and the bad. We are a vibrant, tenacious, talented people and so much more than what past films and television shows have declared us to be. We are lawyers, doctors, television writers/directors, scholars, professors, actors -- we are humanitarians, and we are part of humanity in all its complexities. We come in all shapes, sizes and colors and we are here to stay. As our sisters from the TransLatina Coalition say, “Our existence is resistance.” The world can continue to try and silence us but we are not going anywhere. We are here to stay.

How to advocate for trans+ visibility

Having grown up as an out trans woman in the 90’s I have witnessed some great improvements in regard to opportunities for the community to live out and proud, but we still have so far to go and it is only with a united front that further progress can be made. We need our allies more than ever to help us have the hard conversations that will open people’s hearts and minds. 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.

This blog was written by Point Alum Kerri Cecil

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. Read more about Kerri here.

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