March 31 marks International Trans Day of Visibility (TDoV), which was first established in 2009.
Here’s everything you need to know about the day, and why this year it feels more necessary than ever.
What is it?
Visibility isn't about standing up & shouting from the rooftops. Sometimes it's about being who you are, & going about your everyday #TDOV17
— Debbie Louise Cannon (@DebbieCannon7t3) March 31, 2017
TDoV is a day described as “dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments and victories of transgender and gender non-conforming people while raising awareness of the work that is still needed to save trans lives.”
It was founded as a reaction to the fact that there were very few LGBT holidays celebrating trans people’s successes.
It’s important to note that TDoV is a different day to Transgender Day of Remembrance, which falls on November 20 and memorialises those who have died due to transphobia.
How is it being celebrated around the world?
The group Trans Student Educational Resources has organised events in honour of the day in universities all around America.
Even if not at an official event, trans men and women all over the world have been taking to Twitter. It is an opportunity for many to celebrate their successes, and recognise how far they’ve come.
— Charlotte McCarroll (@DrCharlotteMcC) March 31, 2017
— Alexandra Chandler (@a_chandler) March 31, 2017
— Phil Girling (@girlingphilip) March 31, 2017
It’s an opportunity for positive affirmations from the trans community.
Happy #tdov to all my transguys and gals n anyone inbetween, you're all valid whether you pass or not, take today to be proud of yourself 🌈
— ? (@matttbh_) March 31, 2017
— Ruben Alexander (@phroobin) March 31, 2017
— ZomBabe 💀 (@irlzombieboy) March 31, 2017
But it is apparent that there is still a long way to go before the trans community has achieved equality.
We are not your fetish, and we will not stand for anything less than the equality we deserve #TransResistance
— Charlotte Manibusan (@Yomknee) March 31, 2017
Why does the day feel particularly poignant now?
— All Out (@AllOut) March 31, 2017
Earlier this week, Donald Trump’s administration omitted LGBTQ people from the 2020 census. GLAAD’s CEO Sarah Kate Ellis called the move a “systematic effort on behalf of the Trump administration to erase LGBT people”.
President of the Human Rights Campaign Chad Griffin said in a statement: “Their intent is clear. By denying we exist, the Trump administration hopes to deny us equality. It won’t work.”
Whilst it can be seen as an attack on the LGBTQ community as a whole, trans people have felt particularly targeted by Trump’s administration. In February, Trump revoked former president Obama’s guidance protecting trans students in federally funded public schools. This means that schools no longer have to respect trans students’ rights, including their right to use the bathrooms and locker rooms of their gender identity.