Trans Day of Visibility (TDoV) – The Challenges of Visibility in Transgender Communities

What does it mean to be visible? Does visible simply mean the ability of others to see you or does it go a step further as the ability for others to know you and celebrate you?

International Trans Day of Visibility (TDoV) exists because there is an entire subsection of humanity that is often not just not known or not seen, but they are fundamentally ignored and their experiences completely overlooked. 

Trans Day of Visibility (TDoV) falls each year on March 31st, existing as a celebration of the achievements and accomplishments of the transgender community and to raise awareness of global discrimination and violence towards transgender people. 

Transgender activist and founder of Transgender Michigan, Rachel Crandall-Crocker started the event in response to Trans Day of Rememberence (TDoR), an annual event memorializing those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia. She wanted an event that wouldn’t just draw awareness to the violence performed against transgender people, but would highlight the unique achievements accomplished by the community. 

Why Visibility Can Be Dangerous and What Allies Can Do To Help

One of the very apparent difficulties with visibility, despite how important it is to the community, is that visibility often turns activists into targets of hate crimes. This doesn’t mean that there should be less visibility, on the contrary, there should be more. In an article from The Rainbow Times, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a Stonewall veteran and an activist for trans women of color is quoted as saying: 

“It’s not that we [trans people] need to be visible. I think the people who care about us, who are involved in our lives, and who know us; they’re the people who need to become more visible. They need to acknowledge that we exist, claim and show that they support us, and the best way to do that is [to] talk about us in a positive light on our day of visibility.”

There are some ways for people to be a helpful ally to their transgender friends and family members. This article by GLAAD does a really good job of summing them up. 

Further Reading

10 Things You Can Do for Transgender Day of Visibility – Trans Student Education Resources
10 Transgender and Gender Fluid Youth Who Are Working to Change the World – Human Rights Campaign
10 Things Parents Can Do to Show Their Love and Support for Transgender Students – Human Rights Campaign


Trans Day of Visibility – Official Site
Trans Man & LGBTQ Activist Slain On Jan. 1st – The Rainbow Times
At 8 years old, her parents told her to hide who she was. Here’s why she didn’t listen. – Upworthy
TDoV – Wikipedia
The Activist: Rachel Crandall-Crocker, Transgender Michigan founder – Metro Times
Transgender Day Of Visibility: Honoring The Visible And The Invisible – Forbes

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