On March 31st, the world recognizes Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV).
This year, however, TDOV comes at a time of deeply harmful political movements to suppress the trans community’s access to health care and sports. As of today, three state governors have signed off on anti-trans legislation that bans trans women and girls from competing in sports and, coming down the pipeline, are more laws like those being voted on in Arkansas that would prevent gender affirming health care for trans people under age 18 (ironically, this bill is called the “Save Adolescents from Experimentation” (SAFE) Act). South Dakota bill to ban transgender girls and women from sports was vetoed by Governor Kristi Noem (R), but Governor Noem quickly passed two executive orders that effectively replicaticating the law.
Chase Strangio, deputy director of transgender justice at the ACLU, recently told CNN, "There have been many existential threats to trans existence, but there's something uniquely dangerous about what's going on right at this moment with the combination of the sports bills and the health care bills… I think the impulse underlying both is to try to establish governmental policy that it's harmful to be trans."
Typically, we try to see TDOV as a day of celebration--and it is still--but it is also a call to action for all of those who call themselves allies to the trans community.
This TDOV, we hope you consider taking action and actively fighting against these measures. Some suggestions for next steps include:
writing the governors of the various states that are considering and passing these bills,
donating to trans organizations working to fight against this bigotry,
and/or calling your own state and federal representatives to demand they stand up for trans people’s right to both healthcare and participation in sports.
In addition to doing this important work, consider simply learning more about the transgender community by centering trans creators, authors, activists, artists, scientists, policy makers, etc. Below, we have gathered resources to read/listen to/watch and folks to follow on social media. These are just a very few of the people and groups that you should look into--so please do explore further!
Visibility is a small step toward progress, but it’s only the first of many. There is still so much work to be done, as we can see by today’s news, but we can continue to build the futures we imagine. We can keep dreaming up utopia, uplifting transgender voices, and constructing bridges between difference.
Today, I hope that you spend some time thinking about a trans affirming, trans liberatory, trans joyous future--and maybe take the time also bring society a little closer to that kind of reality.
People to Follow
Chase Strangio, deputy director of transgender justice for the ACLU
Alok Vaid-Menon, author, performer, and artist
Katelyn Burns, journalist with VOX
Chase Mosier, professional athlete and founder of transathlete (see below)
Raquel Willis, activist, writer, and organizer
Schuyler Bailar, first trans D1 athlete, speaker, and advocate
Wednesday Holmes, illustrator and writer
Ericka Hart, sex educator and writer
Organizations to Follow
Intransitive was founded by two Trans people in response to the gap of intersectional Trans spaces in Northwest Arkansas. From its inception, Intransitive took on shutting down TERF recruitment events by organizing local and regional Trans people in the state.
FORGE reduces the impact of trauma on trans/non-binary survivors and communities by empowering service providers, advocating for systems reform, and connecting survivors to healing possibilities. FORGE strives to create a world where ALL voices, people and bodies are valued, respected, honored, and celebrated; where every individual feels safe, supported, respected, and empowered.
TransAthlete is a resource for students, athletes, coaches, and administrators to find information about trans inclusion in athletics at various levels of play. This site pulls together existing information in one central location, and breaks down information into easy-to-reference areas to help you find what you need.
ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1920 "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States." The ACLU works at the national level and has affiliate locations throughout the U.S.
Women’s Center Blogs/Zines to Read
By Autumn Cook, March 26, 2020
By Scout Hertl, Spring 2019
By Dan Willey and Amelia Meman, 2017
Other Readings and Texts
Transgender Week of Visibility and Action (Google Doc with information and resources for activism)
Trans Athletes Bills Explained by Katelyn Burns
Myths About Trans Athletes Debunked by Chase Strangio and Gabriel Arkles
Trans History You Never Learned in School by Thomas Page McBee
Visibility Alone Will Not Keep Transgender Youth Safe by Chase Strangio and Raquel Willis
Youth Activists Lead the Fight Against Anti-Trans Bills by Jo Yurcaba
As we gain more information and folks share resources, we are updating a Google Doc with this information. You can check that out here.