by Helen James

Image by: Emerson Zandegu
Image description: A graphic with the words ‘Trans day of visibility’ ‘#beseen’, and 8 different trans people standing in a line. The people are all blue and pink in tone, various heights, various sizes, people of colour, children and someone in a wheelchair

March 31st was Trans Day of Visibility and has been widely celebrated every year since 2009. The day was founded by US-based transgender activist Rachel Crandall, who felt there was a lack of LGBT holidays celebrated, especially for trans people. It’s a day for all those who identify as transgender, gender-nonconforming, nonbinary and those who don’t label themselves or feel like they fit into a gender specific term. It’s also a day to honour the trans community, to embrace diversity and to raise awareness of the challenges still faced.

Visibility is so important for the trans community, as a whole, but also on a personal level. Trans Day of Visibility allows the trans community to be seen, to be visible, and to keep pushing for more visibility – wherever it is safe to do so. It’s a great time to look at the past and all that’s been achieved but also look to the future and everything that still needs to be achieved.

We can help keep/build visibility by:

  • Supporting writers by reading books/listen to Audiobooks written by trans people. 

 Some recommendations are: Pet by Akwaeke Emezi, Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas, Uncomfortable Labels: My Life as a Gay Autistic Trans Woman, by Laura Kate Dale, Trans Love: An Anthology of Transgender and Non-Binary Voices, by Freiya Benson. 

Another idea, if you’re able too, is to purchase two of the same book and gift/lend your other copy to a friend/family member who you feel may enjoy it too. This is a really great conversation starter for someone you may have never spoken too about trans issues, but of course it’s important to only do this if you feel safe to do so.

(a side note: Audible, an online audiobook platform, currently have a 30 day free trial) 

  • Follow trans activists on social media. Share, re-tweet and support the work they’re doing.

Some recommendations are: Zoey Luna (@iamzoeyluna on instagram), Lillian Lennon (@mslillianlennon on instagram), Kenny Ethan Jones (See him talking about his activism here). These are just three of many activists using their voices. When we support each other we further the community and further their outreach.  

Again, only share the work if you feel safe and comfortable in doing so. 

  • Celebrate yourself

Whether you are out as trans, passing and choosing to be seen as a cis person, not out due to unsupportive friends/family, or anywhere in the middle or different – whatever your situation, we are often discouraged from making our transness visible. We recognise that for some intersections of our community, this is particularly challenging and often dangerous; for example, for people of faith, people of colour, those with disabilities, and so on. It’s important for us all to stand by our community and be sure to help elevate and support under-represented voices within it, at all times.

Where possible, it’s really important we celebrate ourselves, and start/continue to “see” ourselves as we truly are. Look for small ways to reaffirm your journey for yourself. Maybe for you that’s painting your nails, wearing what you feel comfortable in or even trying out a new name or pronoun that you feel ready to start doing. 

With all that’s currently going with Covid-19 we all have a lot of other things on our minds. It’s really important to take the time out from worry and fear of the pandemic to remember the love, support and community we have. 

The Clare Project is here to support you. For 1-1 emotional support you can call our helpline. Keep an eye out on our Facebook and Instagram pages for other ways to stay connected with us, and each other, during this time too.

Join our Facebook group by clicking here.