March 31st is International Transgender Day of Visibility, but we wanted to get a head start by giving you some information on why this day of awareness is so important. Dedicated to celebrating transgender and gender non-conforming people worldwide, TDOV is a day to celebrate their contributions to society, raise awareness of discrimination, and shed more light on the work that still needs to be done to achieve justice and equality.
The Human Rights Campaign estimates there are more than 2 million transgender people across the United States. Its diverse community includes all ages, racial and ethnic backgrounds, and faith traditions.
Rachel Crandall, a transgender activist, first celebrated the day in 2009 as a reaction to the lack of recognition of the transgender community. Until this point, the only well-known transgender-centered day was the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which honored transgender victims of violence but did nothing to support or celebrate living members of the community and their contributions.
Transgender and non-binary people continue to face legislative and executive attacks across the US. With some legislative bodies banning gender-affirming care for youth and political action groups hosting speakers with anti-trans rhetoric taking center stage. With this, the ongoing violence, especially against Black and Brown transgender women, is growing.
Now more than ever, it is important to amplify trans voices. That's why for the next three weeks, HK Journal will be featuring a member of the transgender community as apart of our Community Spotlight series. Come back next week to hear from Sam Giardina, a photographer and filmmaker who uses his art as a form of activism.