Commemorating Transgender Day of Visibility

March 31, 2023

Commemorating Transgender Day of Visibility

Dear CSSW Community,

March 31st marks the annual commemoration of Transgender Day of Visibility. This day was created to ensure that the Transgender community is not reduced to the sum of their pain. It is a day to celebrate the many contributions of this community and also center their humanity; an act that feels even more critical with the current climate in our country.

The Human Rights Campaign is working to eliminate more than 300 anti-LGBTQ+ bills at the state level, 150 of which specifically target transgender people. These bills, some having passed as law, indicate the highest amount of legislation attacking this demographic in a single year to date. The continued attempts to strip trans and gender non-conforming folks of their humanity remain at the root of these measures, broadly encompassing the censorship of LGBTQ+ advocacy and education in public schools, banning transgender children from playing sports, and restricting access to gender-affirming healthcare.

And in the wake of the school shooting in Nashville earlier this week, various politicians and media outlets have used that tragedy to continue to spew anti-trans hate. Let us not be distracted by this dangerous rhetoric and focus instead on the enormous contributions of the trans and gender non-conforming community.

We cannot fully claim allyship without first grounding ourselves in intersectionality; it is crucial to recognize that trans people possess multiple identities that can affect how far they have been pushed to the margins, on top of the already existing persecution they face. Transgender women and girls – particularly Black trans women and trans women of color – bear a disproportionate amount of the ongoing violence and discrimination.

In order to rectify the harm that has been done, we must cultivate a culture wherein trans people feel seen and respected. Visibility allows for trans people to thrive, expand their connections across the globe, and embrace joy. CSSW honors our transgender and gender non-conforming community for sharing their light, stories, and resilience.

Earlier this week, the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion hosted a virtual event in honor of Trans Day of Visibility. The event included a short film viewing, a talk on the importance of the day, and a Q&A session. A recording of the event will be available shortly. In addition, we hope you’ll be able to join us on April 24th at 6 p.m. via Zoom for the 2023 Lucille N. Austin Lecture, the theme of which will be social justice for trans folks in our current social and political climate.

“No pride for some of us without liberation for all of us” – Marsha P. Johnson

In community,

Melissa Begg

Dean & Professor

Karma Lowe

Senior Associate Dean for DEI, Enrollment, & Community Engagement