Transgender individuals asserted their identity on the International Transgender Day of Visibility, celebrated every year on March 31. The event aims to celebrate transgender people and raise awareness of the discrimination faced by the transgender community. Rachel Crandall, a psychotherapist based in Michigan, is credited with founding the day in 2009. Yashika Iqra, a transgender activist studying at Punjab University, says that on this day, "we exhibit our existence, our gender identity, and our visibility to the entire world."
In 2009, Rachel Crandall felt that the only annual event dedicated to transgender communities was the Transgender Remembrance Day, which was nothing to celebrate. This event was held in remembrance of Rita Hester, a black transgender woman who was brutally stabbed in her own apartment in 1988. Crandall felt that the event had a gloomy tinge to it and was not appropriate. She had lost her job as a psychotherapist after she transitioned and also her marriage. She decided that March 31st would be the International Transgender Day of Visibility.
In 2014, the day was observed all over the world by the transgender community. Many transgender individuals participated in an online social media campaign on websites to raise awareness about the issue and increase the visibility of trans people.
The US President Joe Biden proclaimed March 31, 2021, as the Transgender Day of Visibility, becoming the first American President to issue a formal presidential proclamation recognizing the event.
Jane Kaushik, a transgender who was expelled from a school where she taught, after her gender status became known to people, says that "we will be able to celebrate International Transgenders Day only after people of our fraternity get good jobs, security, education, etc. There are many people in our community who want to earn but don't get employment because of the stigma attached to the transgender community. Many people of our community are still hiding their identity for fear of losing their job and education apart from getting rejection from society and family." She added that if the government wants to bring transgender people into the mainstream, they need to provide horizontal reservation.
You can also join our WhatsApp group to get premium and selected news of The Mooknayak on WhatsApp. Click here to join the WhatsApp group.