Although Transgender Day of Visibility has only been celebrated since 2009, transgender people have been part of society for a very long time. It is important to recognize and celebrate our contribution to society. Observed yearly on March 31, International Transgender Day of Visibility is a day celebrating the courage it takes to live openly and authentically and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide. The holiday was founded by transgender activist Rachel Crandall in 2009, as a reaction to the lack of LGBT holidays celebrating transgender people. Until 2009, the only day that was a transgender-centered holiday was the Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day to remember and mourn those in the trans community who we lost due to hate crimes.
It is a day for transgender people to stand up and be counted, and also for cisgender people to learn about and celebrate their transgender brothers and sisters. It is not a day of remembrance or a day of protest, but a day of celebration.
Some people may be tempted to think the transgender community is getting too much media coverage lately. While it’s true there have been a number of high-profile stories recently, fact is that most of the media coverage about or featuring transgender people focuses on a few sensational aspects, such as transgender surgeries, at the expense of letting transgender people tell their own stories. The dialogue is controlled by the media, not by the affected people. The stories about how transgender people experience disproportionate levels of discrimination, hate, violence, unemployment, poverty and substance abuse are hardly ever told in the mainstream media.