Each year on March 31, we honor International Transgender Day of Visibility! We celebrate the joy and resilience of trans and non-binary people everywhere by elevating voices and experiences from these communities.
Why is visibility important?
For many gender-diverse people, a lack of representation, role models, and community can be isolating and make it difficult to feel proud of our identities. Trans Day of Visibility is a day of pride and celebration for gender-diverse identities, achievements, and community.
For a community that is too often underrepresented, TDOV is about reclaiming space and being visible on our terms. Visibility allows the community to bloom, and for people with shared lived experiences to form bonds across borders.
History of the day
International TDOV was created in 2010 by US-based trans advocate Rachel Crandall. Crandall, the head of Transgender Michigan, created TDOV in response to the overwhelming majority of media stories about transgender people being focused on violence. She hoped to create a day where people could re-focus on celebrating the lives of transgender people, empowering them to live authentically, while still acknowledging that due to discrimination, not every trans person can or wants to be visible.
When Did The Day Gain Popularity?
The day gained popularity when in 2014, the day was observed by activists in Ireland and Scotland, while in 2015 when many transgender people took part in the event by participating in social media campaigns. They successfully made the day go viral by posting selfies and personal stories. In 2021, US President Joe Biden officially proclaimed March 31, 2021, as a Transgender Day of Visibility, proclaiming in part, “I call upon all Americans to join in the fight for full equality for all transgender people.” The White House also published this proclamation; which made Joe Biden the first American president to issue a formal presidential proclamation recognizing the Transgender Day of Visibility.
How India Celebrated TDOV
In India, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has launched a first-of-its-kind campaign highlighting the rights of trans children ahead of the ‘International Transgender Day of Visibility’. The campaign “Unbox Me”, launched, along with a two-minute and 10 seconds film on the issue talks about secrecy and hiding that most such children go through.
The day is dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide, as well as celebrating their contributions to society. Transgender Day of Visibility allows them to be unapologetically themselves and empower trans people to celebrate who they are and encourage allies to voice solidarity with the trans community.