On this Trans Day of Visibility, @elle_moxley calls on ALL of us to organize and fight to protect and defend the rights of all our siblings. #TDOV #TransIsBeautiful #transtwitter #BlackTransLivesMatter https://t.co/DjLxHxjN5g
— Marsha P. Johnson Institute (@MPJInstitute) March 31, 2023
It’s #TDOV! Today, we:
💙 honor all trans people
🤍 celebrate trans visibility
💗 recommit to the fight for trans equality
We are one in power and solidarity.
Happy Trans Day of Visibility! 🏳️⚧️🏳️⚧️🏳️⚧️ pic.twitter.com/qQpmh4VzVD
— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) March 31, 2023
Visibility is a very complicated topic for transgender people. On the one hand, visibility means that trans people are being seen because they are living openly as themselves; on the other hand, visibility provokes a backlash of fear, policing, and violence against trans people in direct relationship to that increase in visibility, as society responds to something it doesn’t quite understand.
There is a consumption of our marginality where trans people are essentially treated as public spectacle: when and how we transition, what our genitalia looks like, whether we pass, whether we are trying to “gain” something by transitioning, whether we are “making it up” for attention, or if we are not out, whether we are lying to get one over on our unsuspecting community.
Being trans stops being who we “are” but as something that we “do” — something that we are imposing on others. That foundational seed leads to the intense backlash againt trans people — the perception is that we are doing transness to society, to children! Trans bodies being treated as pornographic, criminal, and violent in and of themselves. According to translegislation.com, there are 424 active anti-trans bills in the US. The ACLU is tracking 435.
For those of you who are not trans, a gentle reminder that it is no longer enough for you to support your trans friends and family privately: Our visibility endangers us. It is scary as hell out there! We need our allies to become visible too, to speak out publicly of their support, and to learn the facts and information that can be used to dispel the torrent of lies. On this Transgender Day of Visibility, I encourage you to do your part and make yourself visible as someone who supports trans folks.
Be like Rep Pramila <3
Day after day, we see the GOP villainizing and otherizing trans people in dangerous and hateful ways. My landmark Trans Bill of Rights is a comprehensive framework to provide protections and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to thrive.https://t.co/12fBj2Y5nb
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) March 30, 2023
“Let me be clear: These attacks are un-American and must end,” Biden said of anti-trans laws. #TDOV 🏳️⚧️🏳️⚧️🏳️⚧️ https://t.co/z39iObKZdW
— Out Magazine (@outmagazine) March 31, 2023
Today, marches will happen worldwide for #TransDayOfVisibility.
We demand liberation. No more outlawing our medical care, our dignity. No more targeting children.
To those marching: Thank you. We will bend the arc of history towards justice ourselves.pic.twitter.com/FewK3xGar0
— Erin Reed (@ErinInTheMorn) March 31, 2023
I was colorizing trans photos and it reminded me of star athlete Mark Weston, who transitioned in 1936. It’s as if he was erased from the history books. He was one of the world’s top athletes and Britain’s #1 women’s shotputter for 6 years. His brother Harry was also trans! pic.twitter.com/7eqAtp8OHQ
— Eli Erlick (@EliErlick) February 24, 2023
Jackie Shane was a Black trans Tennesseean singer active from the ’50s-2000s. She came out as trans at 13 to a supportive family in the Jim Crow south.
By every right, Jackie should have been a superstar but the world wasn’t ready for her legendary voice. She passed in 2019 at 78 pic.twitter.com/cYMhcjMqxu
— Eli Erlick (@EliErlick) March 8, 2023
For Trans Day of Visibility, I’ve released almost all the queer and trans photos I’ve colorized/restored in one place! Check out some incredible moments from our community’s history going back to the 1890s at https://t.co/tAg5YkIFeb pic.twitter.com/ZhUSYefFSl
— Eli Erlick (@EliErlick) March 31, 2023
March 31st is #TDOV pic.twitter.com/MDBJw6kVy5
— Sophie draws comics (@AssignedMale) March 31, 2023
We asked trans and non-binary Students Demand Action leaders about anti-trans legislation, resistance, and celebrating their identities on #TransDayOfVisibility. https://t.co/3CiEMV5zD6 pic.twitter.com/IoOAErHUCl
— Students Demand Action (@StudentsDemand) March 31, 2023
March 31st is #TransDayOfVisibility. Today is a day to celebrate the lives and contributions of trans people, while also drawing attention to the poverty, discrimination, and violence the community faces. pic.twitter.com/mK6tHh731e
— GLAAD (@glaad) March 31, 2023
I see you!
Happy Visibility Day!
Well, my niece is now my nephew and for what it’s worth my feelings about him haven’t changed. He was open about his journey, although I do worry some because he lives in a small Western town.
Thank you so much for this! The historical images are amazing; I’ve been doing my own research into LBGTQIA+ history outside Europe for a proposed project, and part of the joy of that work is discovering the histories oft-buried and tossed aside in favor of wars, and rumors of wars, in your average historical works.
Part of the fight today is this implication that a Trans identity is somehow new, somehow the “effect of modern Western culture”. That framing allows our enemies to shape the story to abuse cultural ignorance!
Because the opposite is true — being Trans? The broader effort of having a rich diversity of gender identities and expressions? Happens in far more times and places than we’re ever shown in our culture — much less our schools.
And we need to say that loudly, over and again.
Thank you, again. And may you and yours go in joy and safety!
Thank you, Eddie. I’m gonna repeat myself from my FB post (where no one is seeing it because FB’s algorithms love to quash anything about a topic they don’t like):
To all of my trans and nonbinary and genderqueer and gender-expansive and genderfuckery-extraordinaire friends: You are always visible to me, you are always important to me, and your safety and well-being and care will always matter to me. You are a brilliant iteration of creation, and the way you are recreating your true selves every day is honoring the path on which whatever higher power you believe in placed you. I know that simply living your lives these days is filled with trauma and fear due to the petulant and destructive bigotry being thrown your way across the country. But I hope you are able to also fill your days with joy and pleasure and stentorian pride.
And to my fellow cis people: Supporting the trans community MUST include campaigning and donating and electing politicians who also support the trans community. Do not dare to call yourself an ally if you vote for someone who seeks to use their office to enact harm against trans people. Nor should you consider yourself supportive of trans folks if you are friends with people who vote for their continued oppression. If someone you know votes for anti-trans politicians or laws, that person is also anti-trans, and your friendship with them serves to validate that stance. Every non-Jew loves to say they would’ve totally opposed the Nazis. Every non-Black person (okay, *most* of them) insists they would’ve been all about the Underground Railroad and the Freedom Riders. This is your time to put your confidence that you would always be on the right side of history into action. Do not vote for bigots. Do not befriend those who do.
Trans Day of Visibility is not just about seeing trans people. It is about envisioning a world in which they do not need a day set aside to remind people to see them. Use your time on this Earth to help make that happen.
Sister Golden Bear
Thanks planet eddie! I’d meant to write something myself, but I started a new job on Monday (yay!), but I smokejumped not only in one major fire, but multiple ones — as well as simultaneously do all the required on-boarding stuff, and ramp up on the project — so I’m a bit brain dead.
A couple, possibly random thoughts (in various posts as I eat lunch)
Another reason visibility is complicated for trans people is — unlike LGB people for being out is showing the world who they are now — for trans people, being out often means others focus on who you were. At it’s crudest, it’s when the haters call me a man, but even among non-haters, there can subtle differences in how I get treated if people recognize I’m trans (and I’m somewhat “visibly trans” depending on context.”
@Sister Golden Bear:
I just wanted to thank you for being so honest and open about your journey. I learned a lot from reading your replies.
Sister Golden Bear
@Sister Golden Bear: Being visible has always made trans people a target, but now more so that ever. Sophie, the young trans woman behind Sophie draws comics, had to leave her native Canada because she received so many death threats.
@Sister Golden Bear: Congrats on the job. I remember you were looking for a while. That’s a relief.
Sister Golden Bear
@Sister Golden Bear:
TDOV was not born of just a need to celebrate being transgender or non-binary, but our right to exist without persecution — especially in the face of the hundreds of ever-more vicious anti-trans laws being considered — and passed — in red states. So instead of wondering why there isn’t a cisgender pride movement, be thankful you don’t need one.
TDOV came about because for years the only annual trans/non-binary event was Transgender Day of Remembrance, where we memorialize those who were killed in hates during the past years. That’s obviously important, but think about how fucked that being our only annual event.
In his excellent essay about Pride celebrations, Joe.My.God talks about how they boil down to this:
And yes, that’s an intentional reference to the joke about the meaning of every Jewish holiday.
The same is true for TDOV. Trans joy is kryptonite to those who would eradicate us by driving us to kill ourselves.
Happy and Powerful Trans Visibility Day!
@MisterDancer: Yeah, when the anti-trans rumpus started up, I was startled because trans has been around forever, in all cultures (so far as I know). I think the only difference is that now people can do more to make their bodies match their identity… but even that goes back some 50 years or more.
Clearly, the real difference is that the fascists think they’ve found a scapegoat they can get away with demonizing.
@Sister Golden Bear: Congrats on the new job!
I definitely was worried I would be too beat to write up a post today, but I found a seed of energy from who only knows where.
My experience has been that when I was more visible and “passed” less, I was treated with tremendous hostility. I decided to stop taking hormones as a matter of safety, and despite now being androgynous as all get out, people question my legitimacy as a trans person. Ah, the concerns never end :P
Yes, it is so awful, and must be exhausting from trans people. I’m sorry you all have to go thru this. I don’t expect to get better in the next few years but hope it will get much better afterwards when people get used to, well, trans visibility.
@Alison Rose: Beautiful!!! Thank you for sharing :)
Do you have any info about what % of the US population are transgender? I suppose this would break down roughly into two categories:
– trans folk who are undergoing in-process or have already undergone physical transformation
– trans folk who identify as such but have not begun any sort of physical transformation
– some may (so far) only go so far as cross-dressing, but that doesn’t seem an accurate indicator of transsexualism because the motivation differs among folks – for some, it may be transexual identity, for others little more than an exotic form of cosplay …a cloudy spectrum of motivations.
I was hoping we’d hear from you today, planet eddie! Thanks for a marvelous post! You are such a gift to all of us!
Happy Trans Day of Visibility!!!
MSNBC covered this today!👍🏻
Sister Golden Bear
@Sister Golden Bear: I also want to send love to those trans/non-binary people who aren’t out, are only partially out, can’t come out, or don’t chose to be out. Likewise with those who can’t or don’t want to transition. Their choices are equally valid.
I personally know multiple later-in-life trans people in all these categories. Some need to keep jobs, others are trying to preserve marriages and/or access to their kids. Some have been through the wringer of trans and just want to move on with their lives, settle down in a quiet little town, and forget about everything.
I personally had been in the latter category. It’s not that I’d gone “deep stealth” — where people cut all ties to before, and reinvent themselves as ordinary cis people — I’m open about being trans among those who know me. But it’s not necessary the first thing I want others to focus on when I meet new people. To, being trans is the third or forth most interesting thing about me.
But unfortunately society won’t let. So I’m visible for those who can’t be. I’m visible to let trans/non-binary kids know that they can have a successful career, a good life, be loved by others, and — far most importantly — they live long enough to become gray-haired. (OK, I actually dye my hair red, but you get my point.)
So is it possible to be supportive of trans people, while also believing this? I would like to hope so, but the arguments from either side are deafening sometimes:
‘Body is sex; mind is gender. Body is what moves through time and space; mind can imagine another time and space; body is what exists now, as does sex; mind can imagine gender, but is imagination, not reality. No reason to deny imagination, as long as it does not deny the reality of the body.’
@Sister Golden Bear:
I love that. Happy TDOV!
Sister Golden Bear
@Sister Golden Bear: As far as the “sudden” visibility of trans/non-binary people, we’ve always been here across time, across cultures, across the globe. But you’re seeing far more of us because it’s become safer to be out — think of the chart showing the “growth” of left-hand people after teachers shopped using a ruler on kids who tried to write lefty.
But part of the change is that we went from being oddities, to being seen as an actual minority group — a similar dynamic all minorities encounter. Christine Jorgensen, the first known American woman to undergo full surgical transition, was a celebrity in her time, and other trans women in that era were also treated respectfully. There’s some fascinating accounts of how trans women were fully accepted in NYC’s immigrant neighborhoods during the early 20th century — in part because the gender imbalance of the immigrant meant there were few cis women available. It’s simple not the case that older generations were inherently anti-trans/non-binary.
So important to remember. That mindset underlies so much of the thuggish response. Don’t accept that mindset.
I’m not Trans, but this is not hard to look up? Here’s 3 studies/polls on the matter:
I highly recommend following the links for more details; there’s a lot of nuance that is hard for me to summarize, esp. since I’m not of this community. Better to read at least these researchers; the links should go to at least an abstract and/or layperson-friendly writing up of what they researched/polled for, and how..
Wonderful images, eddie! Thanks so much for these and for a little trans history.
While I’m feeling a bit tentative about this visibility stuff, I’d like to share this short Storycorp animation of my family’s trans story. I’m hoping a copy/pasta of a youtube link will work… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KraWahKUi5Q&t=1s
Southern Poverty Law Center (via email)
On Trans Day of Visibility, we must fight anti-trans Disinfromation
Sister Golden Bear
@Sister Golden Bear: I’d also like to turn the equation around and highlight the importance cis ally visibility. There’s a state rep in NE who’s shut things down by filibustering every bill being proposed — and has vowed to not stop until Republican drop anti-trans legislation. As she said, they don’t realize the legislature session is over.
There have been legislature hearings in other states where hundreds, sometimes, thousands of cis allies have turned out. We may not always win those fights, but doing so helps underline how anti-trans/non-binary laws are very unpopular, and even a majority of ordinary Republicans oppose them. (Sorry, I don’t have specific references at hand, and don’t have time to dig them up at the moment.)
It does seem like the extremism and the barbarism of the anti-trans/non-binary is sinking in, and hopefully we’re seeing the beginning of a backlash. Cis allies we need your help, we need your visibility.
@MisterDancer: thanks for the info and links
@MisterDancer: Yes! I think one of the reasons we’re seeing a lot of backlash and the figures on trans people in the population can be so confusing is that it really simply hasn’t been (and isn’t) safe to be trans in most of the world. My prediction is that the next 20 years are going to see an “explosion” in trans and nonbinary population that will create more backlash and have a lot of folks talking about how it is a trend/ideology, but it’s actually just about people feeling more comfortable and free to identify publicly with what they feel privately.
@Sister Golden Bear:
She deserves all the praise in the world, but I just wanted to point out that she could do what she did because every other Democrat in the chamber stood with her. If there were one fewer Dem, the GOP would have a supermajority to shut her down.
Mike in NC
Anybody wish Happy Trans Day to the creepy dude in the shiny white boots?
Sister Golden Bear
@Sister Golden Bear: Also wanted to share a new survey by The Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation about trans people (no paywall).
There’s some really interesting data in the details of the report, and I hope to put together a post about it (and other reports) in the near future.
For example, the vast majority of respondents identified as non-binary rather as trans women or trans men — similar to how the number bi people is equal to those identifying as gay or lesbian. It sexually is a messy spectrum, it makes sense that gender is as well. As a late-life transition that was a bit of surprise when I saw that — since people of my age group mostly are binary-identified trans people (i.e. we mostly identify as trans women or trans men), but once I got over my surprise, I makes perfect sense.
@Mike in NC: He gets the “Get Your Ass Kicked by Mickey Mouse Day,” instead.
No Joy for Asshats, is my rule.
@Sister Golden Bear: That hero’s name is Machaela Cavanaugh, and she was joined by fellow Dems in the chamber, including Megan Hunt.
And King Charles’s decendents!
@Sister Golden Bear: As rikyrah mentioned above your journey was educational and fascinating to us mere mortals. Thank you so much for the info.
Formerly disgruntled in Oregon
Great resource for trans rights news: assignedmedia.org
I follow the journalist behind this site on Mastodon: @[email protected]
Support trans youth and people of all ages!
Sister Golden Bear
@Alison Rose: Thank you!
@rikyrah: @Baud: @planet eddie: Thanks. While it’s been a wild week, having a job again after eight months is a huge relief, even if it’s only a six-month contract. At least it stops the bleeding for now, and maybe the tech job will be better this fall.
@planet eddie: Sadly there is safety in being able to pass. Once reason trans women tend to be fairly feminine and trans men are fairly masculine (all the trans dudes I know sport beards) is protective camouflage.
@cmorenc: Figuring out estimates of a partially closeted population is inherently difficult, but Williams Institute estimates there are at least 1.3 million Americans age 13+ who identify as transgender, i.e. 0.5% of the population. I believe that estimate doesn’t include trans people, but I don’t have time at the moment to double check the report. You can read though the report though.
That said, two decades ago when I identified as “just a cross-dresser” (not that there’s anything wrong with that), my personal experience was there were at least 10 cross-dresser for every transitioned trans woman. I suspect that although the specific ratio may have changed, they’re still the vast dark matter of the trans universe even to this day.
@Baud: Absolutely. Having a united front is critical.
Anyway time to go once more unto the breach, my friends, though I may pop up later after my next round of meetings.
@Sister Golden Bear:
Saw her speech on this. Her speaking on not being nice to muthaphuckas touched my soul. I FELT IT.
She said what she meant and meant what she said.
A little sophomoric humor:
@Butch: My nephew is now my niece, and that fits her personality so much better. Also too we don’t have any other nieces so it’s great to at last have a girl.
We used to talk, back in the day, about not having any more fucks to give.
But you watch her, and you done seen someone who’s fields of fuck is truly barren as a desert.
She is so done.
Hurray for Trans Visibility Day! I’ve had trans clients before in my employment law practice but am about to take my first trans case to trial (as third chair…I am old and lazy and trying to retire and want someone else to do the heavy lifting). Here’s hoping that this special day has a positive impact on the potential jury pool. Thank God (and California Democrats and Jerry Brown) for the nation’s most trans-positive employment laws. But…. Shit…I have to wear a suit for two weeks. A true sacrifice for the cause!
Sister Golden Bear
@Sister Golden Bear: FYI, my last comment is trapped in moderation, thanks to too many links.
@planet eddie: Folks like to point to the graph showing the rise of left-handed people over the past century. It isn’t that there are more left-handed people; it’s that they are no longer forced to use their right instead of their naturally dominant left. Like lefties, trans and nonbinary folks have always been here. It just looks like we’re a growing trend, because we’re slowly coming out.
Thanks for this great post and these cool links, stories and pictures. And Happy Transgender Day of Visibility to you all, regardless of whether you are out or not.
A non-binary friend of mine shared this post on Facebook (by a user named “This GNC Demisexual Transbian Hopes You’ss Have A Day”) a week or so ago and I thought some here might enjoy it, so I hope it’s okay to share (it was a public post).
It’s titled “It’s Never Too Late” and is about hormone therapy effects even when they begin after puberty. As usual it had a lot of great info that my Cis/Het self had no idea about, but the part I loved most is the people chiming in down in the comments with pictures and accounts of their own transition experiences. The pure unrestrained joy in their faces from being able to make their bodies match their gender identity is just really beautiful to see. And to my mind, comments and pictures like this are an excellent counter to the bullshit way Conservatives are trying to depict Gender-Affirming Care.
@Sister Golden Bear: Congrats on the job!!
When I taught school (been retired 7? years now – time flies!) I had a young trans man in class. His parents were very supportive, and of course I used the pronouns preferred by the child. I had no problem with this. The student being trans had zero effect on me; and if being able to live the life that is right for the young man, I’m on board. I don’t want kids to suffer (or adults, either) by being expected to be something they are not.
One of the school counselors was a major dick about it, though. He was deferential to the parents, but when he discussed the situation with the student’s teachers, he referred to the young man as “It.” Ripping him a new asshole would have cost me my job and an arrest for assault (he was a “favorite” with the Christian troglodytes who ran the school), but I am hoping he gets hit by the Karma bus hard and often. He was a terrible school counselor.
The other students were fine with the trans student. I kept a close eye to make sure he wasn’t being mistreated or bullied in my presence, but I heard positive remarks made by other kids and he was not isolated or shunned.
I just don’t get why people can’t mind their own damn business and let people live in peace.
@rikyrah: That was Megan Hunt, and her son is trans, so she’s a white hot supernova of “fuck you” to the Repub assholes and their nightmare anti-trans legislation. She has surveyed her field and found it bereft of fucks!
Speaking of which, so have I. Found my field barren of fucks, I mean. My kid came out as trans a while back. It’s not my story to tell, and I don’t talk about my kid much online for obvious reasons. (If I were your mom, would you want ME to discuss YOU online? Ha!)
But SGB’s point about cis ally visibility at #26 prompted me to speak up. I’ve got your back, brothers, sisters, siblings. To the best of my ability. We will win this fight. I promise!
@Betty Cracker: Hope your kid has a great day and knows there are people on our side committed to making a better world for them and I think that number is going every day as more people listen, learn and realize the importance of this fight.
On Trans Visibility Day shout out to Amy Schneider who had a long winning streak on regular Jeopardy and then kicked ass on Tournament of Champions.
@Sister Golden Bear:
Congrats on the new job! Yay!
Sister Golden Bear
Thanks eddie, Sister Golden Bear, and LesGS, for being here and for your stories and visibility. An old high school friend has a trans daughter.
It’s important that everyone finds their own way and their own identity in the world. And that they be safe and secure and loved in doing so.
I see you and support you.
Jacqueline Squid Onassis
Most of my work/effort leading up to this TDOV has been spent trying to get my giant circle of cis friends, family, and acquaintances to stand up and be ALLIES. To not only support me but to support every trans and nb person out there and to support us loudly and publicly. I hope it has some small effect.
As to the world of being trans… I didn’t transition until I was over 50. I seem to pass – unbelievably to me – as long as I don’t speak. Speech’ll get me some double takes so hard I worry for the spine health of those poor souls. Everybody I know – and I mean everybody – tells me how much more comfortable and happy I am since I transitioned. This is the rule and not the exception for trans folks.
Oh, how I wish I’d thought transitioning was possible when I was 30. Or 20. Or 10. My dream is for everybody to see transitioning as a possibility as early as they realize that’s who they are. We’re getting there despite this awful backlash from the fascists. Being visible is my way of saying fuck you to the rising tide of fascism. Of course, I live in one of the safest places to be trans in this country but I suspect I’d be visible no matter where I lived in the US. It’s my way to contribute to the cause of freedom and equality for my community.
Happy TDOV, everybody. I appreciate all you do and all you’re going to do.
@greenergood: I would say that body for me is definitely part of my gender and it’s more complex and nuanced for each person. Maybe this is how gender lives in your body!
@Betty Cracker: yay! This was exactly the point of this post, to encourage cis ally visibility. It is so important !!
@Jacqueline Squid Onassis: xoxoxoxoxox
thank you for existing!!
Probably a dead thread but here goes…I follow Mercury Stardust on Instagram and she’s having a 30 hour marathon to raise money for trans healthcare. She started out trying to raise $1,000,000 for 11,000 people to get trans healthcare. She got to her goal in less than a day. Now she’s shooting for $2,000,000. Here’s her pitch: https://www.instagram.com/stories/highlights/18052241686394703/
Such joy in her. There are more videos but I didn’t want to break Word Press.
@greenergood: To me, mind is something the body does, not a wholly separate thing. Physical conditions, hormones, etc., do affect the mind. If your mind says you’re a certain gender, that is something your body is doing too, which may or may not comport with what organs or chromosomes you have.
Some years ago there was a paper purporting to show that left-handed people had a shockingly low life expectancy. Nowadays, it’s used as an example of how sampling bias can create a statistical illusion.
What they did was look in the obituaries and get age of death, and then look at whatever evidence they could find and interview family members to find out who was left-handed. If you do this–if you preselect for people who died–you compute a low life expectancy for left-handers simply because people who died older were born further in the past, and people born further in the past were more likely to have been forced to live as right-handed.
But I know of at least one person who tried to force her son to become right-handed because of that paper! She thought she was saving his life.
I expect to see a lot of that sort of thing going on with any emergingly visible minority. Weird conclusions and panics that happen just as an artifact of a thing being more visible than it was before.