Today, March 31st, marks the 12th annual celebration of Transgender Day of Visibility. We’re glad to be here. And we’re especially grateful to have a platform that allows us to lift up and empower the voices of trans people—with and without uteruses—around the world.
As always, we’re on a mission to reframe the conversation around periods and menstrual health. And that conversation, by definition, needs to include all folks who menstruate. Despite what so many of us were told growing up (throwback to that awkward video they played during middle school health class), not all who bleed are women.
There are non-women out there—and transmasculine people, and non-binary people, and women, and bigender people, and agender folks—who all have periods.
It is our firm belief that, no matter which pronouns you use, you deserve fair and equal access to reproductive health resources, menstrual products, and patient-centered healthcare. To put it plainly, one’s gender identity should have nothing to do with one’s basic human rights.
How does this tie back to TDoV? We just wanted to remind the incredible trans members of our #Uterati community that we see you, we hear you, and we’re going to keep on doing whatever we can to make the world a safer and healthier place for all.
What’s TDoV all about?
TL;DR: Trans Day of Visibility is an annual awareness day dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments of transgender and gender-nonconforming people while raising awareness of the work that still needs to be done to achieve trans justice.
Quick history lesson: TDoV was founded in 2009 by activist Rachel Crandall. Crandall was inspired by the fact that there was, at the time, no holiday in existence dedicated to honoring the achievements and contributions of transgender people—a.k.a. the positive stuff that so often gets overlooked by the media.
While Transgender Day of Remembrance was initiated in 1999 (and takes place on November 20th each year), it carries a more somber tone, put in place to mourn the victims of trans hate crimes and violence. Crandall wanted to set a date where the trans community could instead be recognized for their presence: Their positive impact on society as a whole.
This year, within the United States, we’ve witnessed many incredible steps forward for the trans community, both culturally and politically speaking. Of course, there have been setbacks, too. And we aren’t ignoring them. But in Crandall’s spirit of positivity, we chose to focus our efforts today on spreading the good stuff.
So, without further ado, here are five viral #transisbeautiful moments we’re celebrating from the past 12 months.
1. Rachel Levine confirmed as US Assistant Health Secretary
Just last week, the Senate voted 52 to 48 to confirm Rachel Levine as the nation’s assistant secretary for health. Levine is now the highest-ranking openly transgender official in U.S. history. Notably, Republican Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) both crossed the aisle to support Levine’s confirmation. In her new position, she’ll play a central role in managing the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
This news follows a momentous year for trans people in politics: In 2020, openly trans candidates were either elected or reelected in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, New Hampshire and Vermont.
History! Dr. Rachel Levine has been confirmed as the next Assistant Secretary of Health. She is the first out transgender federal official confirmed by the Senate. pic.twitter.com/As62ZEfGCq— GLAAD (@glaad) March 24, 2021
2. Trans model Valentina Sampaio featured in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition
This past summer, 23-year-old Valentina Sampaio became the first transgender model to be featured in the glossy pages of Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit edition. Sampaio previously made history in 2019 when she was chosen to be the face of a Victoria’s Secret campaign. She’s been a longtime spokesperson for LGBTQUIA rights in her home country of Brazil—especially within the trans community.
As quoted in Vogue, “Brazil is a beautiful country, but it also hosts the highest number of violent crimes and murders against the trans community globally—three times that of the U.S. Being trans usually means facing closed doors to peoples’ hearts and minds,” Sampaio explains.
3. Pantene launches a TV ad campaign celebrating trans beauty
It’s high time we see more trans representation in the mainstream media, and that, of course, includes TV ads. Pantene recently launched a campaign they’re tagging #BeautifuLGBTQ and, with it, released the video below.
The ad features Sawyer, a trans girl, and her parents, Ashley and Ellie. It opens with the text, “For LGBTQ kids, hair is more than how you look. It’s how you are seen.” We’re so glad to see other brands taking a stand—and doing so in a way that opens doors for other LGBTQ youth to embrace their own, authentic selves, including all aspects of gender identity.
4. Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and others take a stand against J.K. Rowling’s Tweets
ICYMI, famed Harry Potter series author J.K. Rowling unleashed a series of transphobic Tweets last June in which she reiterated her belief that, as she later writes in an essay titled “TERF Wars” on her own website, “the new trans activism is having (or is likely to have, if all its demands are met) a significant impact on many of the causes I support, because it’s pushing to erode the legal definition of sex and replace it with gender.”
Many Harry Potter fans were left grappling with how to reconcile their love for the series and their distaste for the author. While it doesn’t undo the damaging words of Rowling’s manifesto, we were grateful to see many influential figures from the Harry Potter franchise (including Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint) speak out against those Tweets and reaffirm their continued support for the trans community.
We wrote and published an open letter to J.K. Rowling, as well:
5. Kataluna Enriquez is crowned Miss Silver State USA, winning the biggest preliminary competition for the Miss Nevada USA pageant
With this latest victory, 27-year-old transgender woman Kataluna Enriquez becomes eligible to compete in the Miss Nevada USA in June—and goes down on record as the first transgender titleholder of Miss Silver State USA. According to Out.com, her next goal is to win Miss Nevada and move onto the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants.
“Growing up, I was often told that I was not allowed to be myself, or to be in spaces that I was not welcome,” Enriquez said in response to a question asked during the pageant. “One of the obstacles I encounter every day is just being true to myself. Today I am a proud transgender woman of color.”
How to support the trans community: Key resources
- Read The Trevor Project’s Support Center & Guide to Being an Ally
- The 2015 U.S. Trans Survey is the largest survery of transgender people ever conducted. The data has also been broken down by race, ethnicity, and geography. The survey’s results detail the extent of the poverty, discrimination, and violence faced by transgender people. The results are also available in Spanish.
- Transgender Lives: Your Stories is an interactive campaign created by The New York Times to allow transgender people to tell their own stories in their own words.
- I AM: Trans People Speak is a campaign created by the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) and sponsored by GLAAD to raise awareness about the diversity of transgender communities. It lifts the voices of transgender individuals, as well as their families, friends, and allies.
- The Trevor Project
- The National Center for Transgender Equality
- The Jim Collins Foundation
- The Trans Justice Funding Project
- The Trans Women of Color Collective
Transgender people in crisis should contact the following resources:
- The Trevor Project‘s 24/7/365 Lifeline at 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386) or TrevorChat, their online instant messaging option, or TrevorText, a text-based support option. If you are looking for peer support, you can visit TrevorSpace from anywhere in the world.
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255)
- Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860
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