Today is Transgender Day of Visibility!! TDOV is a day for our communities to celebrate Trans people in a positive and welcoming light.
TDOV was started in 2009 by Rachel Crandall, the head of Transgender Michigan, who wanted to build off of the power, community, and strength of Transgender Day of Remembrance and have a day focused on the joys of being trans. “The day of remembrance is exactly what it is. It remembers people who died,” she said. “This focuses on the living.” This event quickly picked up steam and spread throughout the world to become an international day for honoring and celebrating trans people. Read more about it here.
Our visibility as a community is a wonderful, magical, and difficult experience. For so many of us, we cannot be invisible in a society that is built against us and actively tries to erase us. The goal of TDOV is to make our visibility a source of celebration, love, and car. We do this with the hope that our work will continue to build a new world where we as trans folks can safely exist as our whole selves everywhere and thrive.
This year’s TDOV is incredibly important as we are all practicing social distancing and cannot be as visible as we would like to be. It is important to remember that this crisis is significantly impacting the trans community. We already experience much higher rates of medical neglect, and this current pandemic isn’t an exception. Yesterday we lost Lorena Borjas, a woman known as the mother of the Queens Latinx trans community and a personal source of inspiration and learning, to COVID-19 complications. Through her experiences across 30+ years of existing and organizing for herself and her communities, Lorena taught so many of us and has inspired so much of my work. I want to take a moment on a day about our visibility to remember that our visibility also includes the harder parts of our experiences. Que en poder descanses Lorena Borjas!
With that in mind, we collected quotes, videos, poems, and thoughts from both local and international trans folks to create some virtual visibility during times of social distancing! Those have been posted on our social media outlets and are copied below for your enjoyment.
We lived our true selves. We enjoyed our lives. We did what we had to do to survive. When I see younger [trans] girls out shopping in the daytime in their attire, it fills my heart with so much pride. Our visibility is marvelous. Who knew it would turn out like this?Miss Major Griffin-Gracy
On this Trans Day of Visibility, tell a trans-person that you love them, that you’ll be their friend, and that you’ll help fight for their right to exist.
I saw the true me
hiding behind society’s
mask I was given
I said ‘I love me’
and for the first time I meant
every single word
Being Trans has given me the tools, freedom, and courage to be my most authentic self. I can’t imagine anything more freeing than just being you, and I’m extremely grateful.
It is revolutionary for any trans person to choose to be seen and visible in a world that tells us we should not exist.Laverne Cox
Realizing I was transgender just brought my whole life into focus! I never quite fit my assigned gender my likes and dislikes, my temperament, my comfortable mannerisms just seemed off, somehow. When I discovered non-binary folx online, I was immediately enthralled! It all made so much sense! There seemed to be no rules–I could like what I wanted and do what I wanted and embrace my true feelings because there were no societally imposed rules! It was such a joyous feeling ♥️ After I came out publicly, I realized that most of my natural impulses leaned towards the feminine, so I began estrogen therapy. Now so much has changed for me! I’m not constantly fighting my biochemistry!!! I’m planning bottom surgery! It’s SO exciting!!! None of this would have happened if it weren’t for trans folx sharing their lives and stories!♥️ I am forever indebted to my trans siblings that risked so much by simply being visible! I will repay that debt for the rest of my life by being as visible as I can be so that my trans siblings never have to suffer alone😢 Trans visibility literally saved my life. If there is even a remote chance that I save even ONE trans person’s life by giving them hope and a sense of belonging then it will be worth any struggles I may have to endure!♥️
By a woman of trans experience
This is the greatest thing any man has said to me. Respect Validation Kindness
The joy washes over me, no more anger only freedom❤
I am trapped in my house by corvid 19, spraying everything with Clorox. No more hair color, no more electrolysis, CRAP!
Facebook, my life line to the world. My friends and news and life. I should make some new friends 500, 600, 800, 1034! YOU LIKE ME, YOU REALLY LIKE ME! so many new friends that see the real me, finally after 30years I am free!
I want to be visible. But right now I think that I am only truly visible to myself. I hope one day to be more visible and open but it will be a long and difficult journey to get there. Despite that I will not turn away, I will undergo this journey for myself.
by Chrysanthemum Tran
the funny thing about medical transition is how i’m expected to grow and expand into all the parts of me i wasn’t gifted. in other words, i can only be woman by sticking my ass with a needle. after all, woman is pinprick, a spot of blood reminding me what i cannot bear in my belly. i’ve got girlfriends going through their second puberty sprouting tits. they got curves in all the canyons women bury their silence in. but me? my skin carries all the evidence that i too have grown, just not in the most ideal ways. i am no red sequoyah scraping the horizon for its fruit. i am left to dry out. i am sap crusting around the mold, a bitter tongue after a tree’s canopy is cut for firewood. my girlfriends assume i’m already on mones. i’m so fish, i’m drowning on land. i’m so fish, people don’t even know which way i’m swimming. someone asked me what it’s like for me to become a boy when all that fat remains on my chest. but they’re not breasts. i know. i’ve tried molding them. i’ve imagined building a dairy farm from my lungs so i could one day nourish the children i can’t have. but more than anything, i am stuffing myself with everything the kitchen owns. i light the stove top with my hair. i rip the cabinets off with my teeth. i crush cinnamon between my thighs and get high off the fumes. i’m searing red hot. my ovaries are a self-cleaning oven. i tip the refrigerator over and funnel its insides into my own. i eat and everything grows. i swallow four knives and birth children whose tongues come out already sharpened. i eat and nothing dies. i eat and nurse my excess skin back to life. i coax the tigers from my stretch marks. i ring all the alarms. hibernation season is over. i grow and grow and grow and grow and eat with my hands and get full. i feel my not breasts and remember how i can still crave the taste of my own skin.
Our elders are our greatest untapped resource. Without the work and legacies of my foremothers (including Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and Miss Major Griffin-Gracy!) I could not and would not be able to thrive as a young trans woman writer of color.Janet Mock
Trans people are beautiful
and deserve love,
safety, and happiness.
Ordinary Day Cover (duet with myself)
I was a radical, a revolutionist. I am still a revolutionist…I am glad I was in the Stonewall riot. I remember when someone threw a Molotov cocktail, I thought, ‘My god, the revolution is here. The revolution is finally here!’Sylvia Rivera
artist: Asharah Saraswati
It’s Trans Day of Visibility, and what better way to start the day than by following a bunch of trans and non-binary people!
poem by Matthew Marvelous
You could smell the stars, all gas and glow
Feel the crunch underneath as you stepped onto the snow
The plants seemed to dance in the dark of night
The howling of wolves as they play fight.
Off in the distance where no one could be
Shown a light so bright, but no one could see, but me
A path revealed itself for me to walk alone
So I packed my things and ventured into the unknown.
Family and friends pleaded for me to stay
But I knew in my heart I must go away
I had known what was right, and still done what was wrong
This journey, I knew, would help me to grow strong.
My legs grew tired and my back became weak
I fluffed my satchel and fell fast asleep
I awoke feeling warm with the sun on my face
Despite sleeping on the snow in an unknown place.
I opened my eyes, but remained very still
I was surrounded by the sleeping wolves who owned this great hill
I closed my eyes until comfort came
But a wolf began to stir, and he whispered my name.
I sat straight up and spun all around
My heart beating out of my chest was the only sound
The wolves were gone, but had left me a note,
“You are protected, be strong little warrior”, was all they wrote.
I opened my heart and let my journey truly begin
All along I’ve had what I needed, but wasn’t ready to jump in
No regrets, and every experience I’ve had has somehow
Lead me to the point where I am living here and now.
poem and art by Shel Pomerantz
into this world
But if the