Today is the day to celebrate the transgender community, as we continue our journey to fight for equal rights. It is a celebration for the lives being lived to their fullest potential through determination, courage, and activism. Our ability to endure the marginalization, oppression, and discrimination we encounter every day whether it takes place in the workplace or grocery store, at a sporting event, in the military, or during a trip to the doctor - the list goes on. So let’s take a second to focus on tackling the transphobia epidemic in our society!
A vital component of the Trans Day of Visibility is educating others, so while my spiel lacks the capacity to conquer transphobia entirely, I’ll provide useful knowledge of some basic terminology used by transgender – or ‘trans’ people. ‘Transgender’ is a comprehensiv
e term for individuals who do not identify or solely identify their gender identity with their sex as assigned at birth. Transgender identities include trans women, trans men, as well as non-binary, agender, genderqueer, or androgyne identifying humans, - just to list a few. It’s crucial to keep in mind that not all trans people choose to undergo surgical or hormonal interventions or even have the desire to! This is not only a sensitive topic but also a very personal decision. So it’s important to ask if your trans peer is comfortable answering personal questions before asking them.
Another thing: it’s critical to use the preferred names and pronouns for all trans people, not only to prevent a phenomenon called gender dysphoria - but also because it’s basic human-to-human respect. Gender dysphoria is intense emotional distress stemming from the incongruence between one’s gender identity and sex assigned at birth. Transequality.org has a great resource page where you can learn more!
Enduring gender dysphoric struggles every day of every week is incredibly exhausting. Despite that, the community refuses to give up. We simply refocus our efforts and continue forward. Numerous trans folx stand up as community leaders to help motivate and encourage each other to progress society to achieve social justice.
Let’s take a moment to focus our attention on just a few milestones from throughout trans history. It’s imperative that we truly acknowledge and appreciate our transgender predecessors for passionately fighting for our civil rights, and thus making our lives less painful than they could be.
In 1949 Harry Benjamin offered an early form of hormone therapy to trans people in the U.S.
Sir Lady Java and Miss Major Griffen-Gracy are two influential trans women of color, who in the 1950s and 1960s who endured the oppression and rejection from their communities used those struggles to fight for their equal rights and encourage transgender activism.
1975; Minneapolis became the first city in the nation to pass a law prohibiting discrimination against transgender people in the civil rights ordinance. The remarkable fact about this civil rights ordinance is the language that explicitly articulated transgender protection from discrimination. This was revolutionary for the transgender movement and inspired further political advances.
We have come a long way, and we still have A Ways to go in attaining our full civil rights. Try your best to keep your head up and never stop fighting for what is rightfully yours.
We are #TRANSTHRIVING and we will never stop.