On Transgender Day of Visibility it is important that we applaud those who proudly and loudly show us that trans people are a rich and beautiful part of our vibrant society. However, it is also important to acknowledge that while today we may be celebrating being trans, tomorrow we might choose to celebrate one of the other unique facets that make us who we are.
I am so many things to so many people: a parent, a loved one, a musician, a therapist, a friend, a woman – the fact that I am also trans, might add another facet to the conversation, but it doesn’t define me.
Transgender Day of Visibility was created as an antidote to the negativity that we often see directed at the trans community. It is a moment to be seen, to show our achievements, to show ourselves in all our glory and to highlight that one part of us that, in our day to day lives, some of us may choose to downplay: our trans identity.
Visibility is important in everything, from politics, to entertainment, to sport, because the more we see diversity – in all its forms – the more it becomes part of the fabric of society.
It is especially important for those trans individuals who may be struggling to understand where they fit in. Being able to see other people like us who are living their lives can help us to feel less alone.
Of course, the subject of trans visibility is far greater than a single day taken in isolation. While it is certainly important to celebrate days such as TDoV, it is not enough to pop our heads up above the parapet once a year, show ourselves and then disappear again. We need to aim higher.
The reality is that what we really want is a world where all people have an equal place in society. Where people – in all their diverse glory – are able to live happily together in a state of total acceptance. Whether someone has a disability or is neurodiverse. Whatever their skin tone, gender or sexuality, that we all get to experience equality in the home, workplace, local park or city centre.
To truly achieve this, we need our individual characteristics not to be our defining feature. ‘That black man’, ‘my gay friend’, ‘her trans sister’, ‘your autistic brother’. We must work towards a situation where the person applying for the job, releasing the single, appearing in the movie, going to the party – goes as themselves first and foremost.
We must strive for a world where we do not label people, and treat them accordingly, but we see them for who they truly are, and we treat them as such.
Happy Transgender Day of Visibility xx