On this Transgender Day of Visibility, trans people in the U.S. and around the world are more visible than at any other time but are also facing unprecedented attacks, say leaders from the Human Rights Campaign.
"In the face of seemingly relentless attacks, transgender and nonbinary people are more visible than ever before," HRC President Alphonso David said in a press release issued to mark the day, observed annually on March 31. "We are proud to recognize International Transgender Day of Visibility and the determination it takes for transgender and nonbinary people to be living openly and authentically today. Transgender people are our friends and family, our neighbors and our colleagues -- and, like all of us, simply want to live their lives every day as who they are.
"However, even as we celebrate International Transgender Day of Visibility, we must recognize and remember that there are many trans and nonbinary people in this country, and across the globe, who are not able to safely live their lives as their full selves, as well as those who face discrimination and violence for living openly. Today and every day, we will fight for a world where all transgender and nonbinary people are able to lives their lives as their full selves, free from discrimination."
In honor of Trans Day of Visibility, HRC, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and the LGBTQ Task Force are cohosting a panel, "Fierce, Fabulous and Fighting for Our Lives: A Conversation With Transgender and Non-Binary Young People." The panel, which features Josie Totah, Kate Sosin, Schuyler Bailar, Nico Craig, Ve'ondre Mitchell and Lala Shanks, will discuss the experiences of trans and non-binary young people, how they're reacting to the news cycle and attacks on the trans community in statehouses across the country, and how to reach out to trans young people to come together as a community. The event will be streamed live today at 6 p.m. Eastern; RSVP here.
On Monday and Tuesday of this week, HRC held its first Trans Justice & Advocacy Summit, as a part of HRC's Trans Justice Initiative. The summit brought together advocates from across the country to learn from and connect with each other as well as other local and national stakeholders committed to advancing justice and making a meaningful difference in the lives of transgender and nonbinary people. "The powerful conversations from that convening make it clear that the future is bright for our community," said Tori Cooper, director of community engagement for HRC's Transgender Justice Initiative.
HRC is also stressing the continuing political attacks on trans people. By its latest count, there are 192 anti-LGBTQ+ bills under consideration in state legislatures across the country. Of those, 93 directly target transgender people, a record number for a single session since the group has been tracking legislation. Most of the anti-trans bills seek to exclude trans females from girls' and women's interscholastic sports or deny gender-affirming health care to trans minors. Sports bills have been signed into law in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee, and executive orders to this effect issued in South Dakota. A health care denial bill has been passed by both legislative houses in Arkansas and sent to Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
Then there is the violence facing trans and nonbinary people. A record 44 trans and nonbinary Americans died by violence in 2020, and at least 12 have so far this year -- and these numbers are likely an undercount due to misgendering or lack of reporting.
In order to combat stigma and advance acceptance, HRC has collaborated with WarnerMedia on a series of public service announcements to lift up the voices and stories of trans, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming people. Learn more and watch the PSAs here.