Tuesday March 31, 2015
Transgender Day of Visibility is held annually on March 31st and is an international event that celebrates the lives of transgender people. It’s intention is to applaud achievements of the trans community while also highlighting the many issues and prejudices we face.
When I was growing up I didn’t know who I was, I didn't know the word transgender and I certainly didn’t know anyone like me. I saw approximations of people I thought were like me, caricatures on television, punchlines in newspapers, the message I was getting about trans was not good. I was a scared teen and I didn’t want anyone to know I was one of those people so I hid myself. It took 20 or more years for me to truly find myself, to accept myself and to begin to love myself.
Now, sharing my story in Diversity Role Models workshops, I’m often impressed by the knowledge the students seem to have about transgender, many know the word, some know what it means and the occasional few may know someone who is trans. Some are openly trans. In a school. It blows my teenage mind.
So much of this is made possible because of the visibility and voices of the trans community, we stand on the shoulders of giants, pioneers, and now we are beginning to tell our stories and write our own histories.
Over at Liverpool Trans, trans people, and trans-allies, have been submitting profile images to a gallery, using a funky little widget to add a Transgender Day of Visibility banner and allowing them to be shared. Amongst them (last count over 1000 images) there is representation from writers, artists, DJs, film makers, actors, models, Army, Navy, Air Force, presenters, teachers, performers, government, engineers, singers, tutors & students. As a community transgender people are coming together, eager to speak out and share their authentic lives.
Transgender people are slowly getting their voices heard, their stories are being shared, hopefully a more understanding society is beginning to grow.