Today, March 31, is Transgender Day of Visibility. The annual, international event recognizes transgender individuals and the discrimination and violence they face worldwide, while celebrating their contribution to society.
President Joe Biden issued the first presidential proclamation recognizing Transgender Day of Visibility on Wednesday.
“Today, we honor and celebrate the achievements and resiliency of transgender individuals and communities,” the proclamation begins.
The proclamation acknowledges the “generations of struggle, activism, and courage” that have brought the U.S. closer to equality for “transgender and gender non-binary people in the United States and around the world.”
Biden wrote that the “hard-fought progress” is shaping an increasingly accepting society in which transgender people are supported.
But, the proclamation states, “in advancing civil rights for LGBTQ+ Americans, too many transgender people — adults and youth alike — still face systemic barriers to freedom and equality.”
“Transgender Americans of all ages face high rates of violence, harassment, and discrimination. Nearly one in three transgender Americans have experienced homelessness at some point in life,” Biden wrote. “Transgender Americans continue to face discrimination in employment, housing, health care, and public accommodations.”
The proclamation says that the Biden-Harris administration is dedicated to “stamping out discrimination and delivering freedom and equality for all.”
It states that on Biden’s first day of office, he signed an Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation. It also mentions that transgender service members are now able to “proudly and openly serve their country.”
The proclamation says that “we must pass the Equality Act and provide long overdue Federal civil rights protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity” to fully protect the civil rights of transgender Americans.
Biden wrote that Vice President Harris and himself “affirm that transgender Americans make our Nation more prosperous, vibrant, and strong.”
In 2009, Transgender Day of Visibility was founded by transgender activist Rachel Crandall-Crocker as a reaction to the lack of LGBT recognition of transgender people. Crandall-Crocker also realized that the only transgender day of recognition was not about celebration.
Transgender Day of Remembrance is observed annually on November 20. The day mourns the murders of transgender people, but does not acknowledge and celebrate living members of the transgender community. Transgender Day of Visibility aims to do just that.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, the word “transgender,” or trans, is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity differs from the sex assigned at birth. The organization also states:
- Around 29% of trans adults live in poverty. That is 39% of Black trans adults, 48% of Latinx trans adults and 35% of Alaska Native, Asian, Native Americans and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander trans adults.
- 22% of trans people and 32% of trans people of color have no health insurance coverage, according to an HRC Foundation analysis.
- More than one-quarter (29%) of trans adults have been refused health care by a doctor or provider because of their gender identity.
- Only 30% of women’s shelters are willing to house trans women.
- 27% of trans people have been fired, not hired or denied a promotion due to their trans identity.
- The majority (54%) of trans people have experienced some form of intimate partner violence, 47% have been sexually assaulted in their lifetime and nearly one in ten were physically assaulted in between 2014 and 2015.