Trans Day of Visibility 2024

March 29, 2024

By Osha Towers, LGBTQ+ Engagement Director

I am immensely thankful for the trans people that choose to be visible. A choice that allows me and many others to feel seen, and see a future for ourselves. For those that have spent a lifetime fighting for our rights across the country like Miss Major (she/her). Those that are vulnerable in sharing their story like Elliot Page (he/they). Those that poetically share our fears, call for love, and discuss our grief like Alok (they/them). Organizations and grassroots groups that are advocating every single day for our rights and designing spaces for us to be ourselves, like Black Trans Advocacy Coalition, Lavender Rights Project, National Center for Transgender Equality, and so many more. 

Seeing amazing people and groups helps me envision a future where trans people can live and die as themselves. Helps me work towards a world where people are buried in a suit or dress that looks as fabulous as they lived. Having a crowd like Cecilia Gentili (she/her), filled with color and expression in whatever space feels best to mourn them. Where people share unedited stories of their loved ones life, without fear of disclosing their identity. Where their extraordinary legacy lives on like Monica Roberts (she/her). That is the future I see.

Now I would be lying if I said that I didn’t struggle with this day because of the pain I still see across the world. The sadness I feel when we have to plead for people to see our humanity. Dedicating our energy and time to making sure it’s clear that we exist outside of the horrific laws and violent headlines that seem never ending. Knowing how far we still have to go in our healthcare systems and end-of-life care for trans people to truly be safe and honored as they age and as they die. Often asking myself, how do we show ourselves to the world authentically, allowing for self and communal love, while not sacrificing our safety? Which at its core is asking – when will the world truly be safe for us?

As someone born and raised in Michigan, I know first hand the necessity for trans-centered resources and safety in the midwest. Which is why I take great pride and appreciation in Rachel Crandall Crocker (she/her), for co-founding Transgender Michigan and creating the International Day of Transgender Visibility. A commemoration that happens every year on March 31 where the world uplifts trans, nonbinary, and gender-diverse people. Making sure we are honored as full people that experience joy in our hobbies, love in our communities, success in our careers, and overall beauty in our lives. While also knowing that trans people can still have all of this, whether or not public visibility is an option for them.

Here’s to our trans siblings that cannot or choose to not be visible to everyone they meet. Who change their attire when they cross state borders. To the ones who would rather their family use a different name than their friends. To the caregivers and healers of their community. Who don’t correct the medical staff when they assume or ignore their pronouns. Who will choose to be buried differently than they lived to keep the peace and those who will be buried as such even though they put up a fight. Here’s to our trans siblings that we don’t know to name as our ancestors. I thank you, I love you, I celebrate you.

Compassion & Choices
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Patricia A. González-Portillo
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VICTORY: Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed the improved End-of-Life Options Act.