March 31 is International Transgender Day of Visibility! This annual, international event is an opportunity to highlight and celebrate transgender and non-binary individuals while also fighting for a safer, more just future for all trans people.
Trans Day of Visibility (TDOV) celebrates the joy and beauty of trans and non-binary folks across the globe, elevating their voices, and working together to make them feel seen, understood, and protected.
This year in particular, TDOV feels especially important. In states across the U.S, trans people are under attack. Whether it’s attempts to ban gender-affirming care for trans youth, trans youth participation in sports, or even ban insurance companies that provide trans adults with healthcare, basic human rights have been put up for debate. Not to mention, Black and Brown trans women continue to face fatal violence.
It’s more imperative now than ever to fight for and affirm our trans neighbors, friends, and loved ones.
TDOV is just one opportunity to do our part as allies and members of the LGBTQ+ community to celebrate and care for trans and non-binary folks — but first, we’ll give you a little history lesson.
5 Facts About International Trans Day of Visibility History
- Rachel Crandall-Crocker is the creator of International Transgender Day of Visibility, which she started in 2009.
- In 1998, Trans Day of Remembrance was started, after Rita Hester, a Black transgender woman, was brutally stabbed in her apartment.
- The goal of Trans Day of Visibility is to celebrate the joy and resilience of trans folks, creating a narrative outside of the loss and grief of Trans Day of Remembrance.
- President Joe Biden was the first U.S. president to issue a formal presidential proclamation recognizing Trans Day of Visibility in 2021.
- Many transgender folks use TDOV to share photos, videos, and celebratory posts online to raise awareness and increase visibility surrounding trans people and their experiences.
While it’s important to learn more about and uplift the experiences of transgender and non-binary folks every single day, it’s helpful to have somewhere to start. We’ve created a guide on how to celebrate Transgender Day of Visibility this year.
By the way, some of the links in this article (like books!) are affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you!
Activities To Celebrate International Transgender Day of Visibility
Learn more about transgender people.
Many of us did not experience thoughtful and affirming lessons about gender and sexuality growing up, but when we know better, we do better.
If you’re confused or curious about gender identities outside of your own, there’s no better time than today to learn more! Here are a few helpful and straightforward resources:
- This infographic from the ACLU
- A gender terminology discussion guide from GLSEN
- Myths and facts about trans rights from the Human Rights Campaign
- Resources for parents and caregivers of trans youth from the Human Rights Campaign
Read more books by trans folks.
A great way to learn more about trans people is to read more books by them! Whether you’re looking for a fictional read with a gender-inclusive plot, or a well-documented nonfiction book, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few recs for TDOV:
- “Gender Failure” by Ivan Coyote and Rae Spoon (Bookshop) (Amazon)
- “Detransition, Baby” by Torrey Peters (Bookshop) (Amazon)
- “Not Just a Tomboy: A Trans Masculine Memoir” by Caspar Baldwin (Bookshop) (Amazon)
- “Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More” by Janet Mock (Bookshop) (Amazon)
- “Gender Euphoria” by Laura Kate Dale (Bookshop) (Amazon)
- “Trans Like Me: Conversations For All Of Us” by CN Lester (Bookshop) (Amazon)
- “If I Was Your Girl” by Meredith Russo (Bookshop) (Amazon)
Watch documentaries about trans people.
Documentaries provide a beautiful visual and audio element to trans stories that allow us to build empathy and understanding of the world around us. Here are a few documentaries that can better help us explore the realities of trans folks — and be even more thoughtful community members.
- Disclosure (Netflix)
- The Long Road To Your Own Name (an independent German film streaming online)
- Transhood (HBO Max)
- The Trans List (HBO Max)
- Mala Mala (Vimeo)
- Transgender, at War and in Love (New York Times)
- Always Jane (Amazon Prime)
You can also check out Daniel Radcliffe’s new web video about trans youth with The Trevor Project.
Add some new podcasts to your queue.
Hearing about the lived experiences of trans folks directly from trans folks is the way to go. Podcasts are a perfect opportunity to do just that! Here are a few that are sure to inspire and enlighten you:
Learn more about the history of trans people across the world.
Transgender people have always existed. Across cultures, generations, traditions, and faiths, people have always challenged the gender binary — even though the term “transgender” wasn’t coined until the 1960s.
Read and share quotes from transgender activists.
Use some of these quotes to share positive messaging about trans people, find inspiration and hope in their journeys, and connect with other LGBTQ+ folks.
- “I’ve never been interested in being invisible and erased.” — Laverne Cox
- “Trans people are extraordinary, strong, intelligent, persistent and resilient. We have to be. And we will not stand for the picking and choosing of rights. We still have hope.” — Grace Dolan-Sandrino
- “I want to make a difference in the world by speaking out and spreading hopeful messages. I want to send the message of ‘you are not alone and you are safe’ to other transgender kids.” — Rebekah Bruesehoff
- “I don’t know what I am if I’m not a woman.” — Marsha P. Johnson
- “I’ve always been Sarah. My gender identity has always existed. I’ve always been a woman. Gay people aren’t straight before they come out as gay, and transgender people are who they are before they come out and transition.” — Sarah McBride
- “The more I hold myself close and fully embrace who I am, the more I thrive.” — Elliot Page
Donate to organizations in your community that support trans folks.
You’ve most certainly heard of large LGBTQ-affirming organizations like the Human Rights Campaign or GLAAD, but there are loads of nonprofits out there that specifically work to protect and uplift trans folks — and they need our support.
If you’re looking to donate your time or funds to a national nonprofit, some great ideas would be:
- Transgender Law Center
- Trans Lifeline
- National Center for Transgender Equality
- Marsha P. Johnson Institute
- Sylvia Rivera Law Project
- Trans Justice Funding Project
- Black & Pink
However, we also know that small, local, grassroots organizations are the most in need of support. Check out the following organizations, or look for similar initiatives in your own community:
- Princess Jane Place
- Baltimore Safe Haven
- Brave Space Alliance
- TransLatin Coalition
- Bklyn Boihood
- SisTers PHG
- Solutions Not Punishment Collaborative
- The Transgender District
Donate to a mutual aid fund or gender affirming care fundraiser.
Redistribute wealth and help a friend or community member pay for gender-affirming care. As a reminder, gender affirming care isn’t only surgeries or medical procedures (though, these are very important, too!) Gender affirming care is also found in comfortable clothes, chest binders, legal name change support, and more.
If you have trouble finding a mutual aid fund in your immediate circle, you can also find resources for free clothing in your area, search for a fund to contribute to on GoFundMe, or support any of these nonprofits:
- Jim Collins Foundation: An organization that works to promote the self-determination and empowerment of all transgender people through grants for gender-affirming surgeries.
- For The Gworls: A Black, trans-led collective that curates and hosts parties to fundraise money to help Black transgender folks pay for rent, gender-affirming surgeries, smaller co-pays for medicines and doctor’s visits, and travel assistance.
- Point of Pride: A platform that offers a variety of gender-affirming programs, like an annual surgery fund, financial support for electrolysis, a free year of hormone replacement therapy, and free chest binders and shapewear.
Fight anti-trans laws around the country.
The ACLU is currently tracking 429 anti-LGBTQ+ bills in state legislatures around the country. Protecting our trans siblings has never been more important, as lawmakers attempt to deny the safety, support, and full experience of humanity all trans folks deserve.
Whether it’s through free speech and expression, healthcare, public accommodations, school and education, or other civil rights matters, trans people deserve our unwavering solidarity.
It is certainly overwhelming to keep track of and combat the hate coming from so many directions, but we all must do our part to curb these attacks on trans people and work to keep our representatives from further harming LGBTQ+ communities.
Here are a few quick action items:
- Stay up-to-date with the latest news on LGBTQ+ rights in your state and surrounding areas. This map from the ACLU, or this one from the National Center for Transgender Equality are great places to start!
- Call your representatives and urge them to see the humanity of all of their constituents. (We’d even encourage you to set up an in-person meeting, if it’s safe for you to do so.)
- Work with local political action groups or your local chapter of the ACLU on the ground protecting trans lives. They are the experts, and they’ll help you take action in the best ways for your community.
- Be verbally and loudly supportive of trans people. Even if you’ve always been supportive of LGBTQ+ folks, now is the time to make it abundantly clear that you are a safe, affirming person. Consider how you can personally provide sanctuary for trans people in the event that this legislation passes.
- Take care of your trans neighbors. Put money directly in their pockets, provide meals and peer-support, or find ways to bring queer joy to the forefront of this deeply traumatic political landscape.
Vote for candidates that are affirming of all LGBTQ+ individuals.
One potential upside of so much anti-trans legislation is that it has become very clear which lawmakers do and do not reflect our values. Take this into consideration, and put your donations, volunteer hours, and votes behind candidates who are ready to show up for LGBTQ+ folks.
Some great examples of trans-affirming and LGBTQ+ leaders include Machaela Cavanaugh and Megan Hunt of Nebraska, Shervin Jones in Florida, Colorado representative Brianna Titone, Kentucky’s Keturah Herron — and so many more.
Attend Trans Day of Visibility events.
Arguably, the best way to celebrate any special holiday is by being in community with the people you love and care about most.
Listen to a playlist of songs by trans musicians.
Did you know that the first person to invent the Moog synthesizer, which popularized electronic music, was a trans woman named Wendy Carlos? She was the first trans woman to win a Grammy Award, too!
We owe so much of the pop music we love today to Carlos, and TDOV is the perfect opportunity to celebrate her — and all the trans musicians out there today.
Watch movies and tv shows featuring trans actors.
Need a low-energy way to celebrate TDOV? Cuddle up on the couch and watch some shows and movies featuring trans actors and creators.
- Sense 8 (Netflix)
- Tangerine (Available to rent on Amazon Prime)
- Transparent (Amazon Prime)
- Pose (Hulu)
- Heartstopper (Netflix)
- The Umbrella Academy (Netflix)
- The Fosters (Hulu)
- Orange Is The New Black (Netflix)
- Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Netflix)
- The L Word: Generation Q (Showtime)
- Supergirl (Netflix)
- Gossip Girl (HBO Max)
Read good news about trans people.
There sure is a lot of disheartening news in the world about trans folks, and while it’s very important to stay up-to-date with everything going on, it’s equally important to maintain hope. And there’s plenty of good news out there to keep us energized in this fight!
We’re all about good news at Good Good Good. Every year, we celebrate Pride with one of our monthly Goodnewspaper editions — and we also have a whole library of good news stories about LGBTQ+ folks to inspire you and help you learn something new.
- Trans Day of Visibility: 13 Good News Stories To Celebrate
- Trans Santa Delivers Gifts To Trans Youth In Need
- This Speech Clinic (Literally) Helps Trans People Find Their Voice
- This Trans Woman Activist Will Compete In Puerto Rico Pageant
- Trans Children Are Being Banned From Sports Nationwide — But These Professional Trans Athletes Are Standing Alongside Them
- Dylan Mulvaney, On Celebrating Her First Pride As A Trans Woman
- Queer Eco-Activism: How One Activist Is Transforming The Outdoors For The LGBTQ+ Community
Highlight Trans Day of Visibility in your company newsletter or blog.
Many companies use their company emails or websites to highlight popular mainstream awareness holidays like Earth Day or Women’s History Month (and that’s great!) but all-too-often, marginalized groups like the trans community get left out.
By choosing to acknowledge and celebrate Transgender Day of Visibility in your newsletter or on your site, you’re sending a clear signal to (current and future) trans employees and customers that you are an ally. It means more this year than ever.
Please feel free to share, quote, and link to this article as a resource!
Make sure your workplace is a safe space for people of all genders.
There are lots of simple policies and procedures your workplace can enforce to make sure people of all genders feel safe and affirmed. For example, you can rethink gender on forms and documents, ensure everyone has access to bathrooms and other “gendered” facilities, and enforce a clear and specific trans-inclusive gender nondiscrimination policy.
It’s not enough to just be “tolerant” of trans folks, but work to make your workplace actively inclusive and celebratory. Whether it’s events, speakers, philanthropy projects, or social media campaigns, use TDOV as an opportunity to audit your current practices — and plan for even better.
Ensure that gender-affirming care is a priority in your company’s benefits package.
If you are responsible for providing pay and benefits for team members at your company or organization, a really valuable way to be inclusive and affirming to trans folks (or folks who have trans family members!) is by working with plans and policies that ensure gender-affirming care in health coverage.
While some lawmakers attempt to rollback gender-affirming care benefits in state healthcare packages, virtually all major insurance companies do recognize the necessity of transgender-related medical care.
If you’re a trans person looking for care (or for work), you can find a list of companies that offer trans-inclusive health benefits, or a breakdown of major insurance companies with varying degrees of trans-inclusive coverage online. You can also learn more about trans medical care on healthcare.gov.
Be intentional about using pronouns in company communications.
Whether or not you already have trans folks in your workplace, it should be common practice to intentionally include pronouns in company communications.
This can look like including pronouns in email signatures, name badges, and other identifying documents, or introducing new employees or guests with their pronouns.
Even if you’re cisgender and feel that your gender presentation often accurately reflects your gender identity without needing to offer your pronouns, it still makes a huge difference for others when you do!
By sharing your pronouns in daily interactions, it helps normalize the fact that not everyone’s pronouns correspond with the gender they were assigned at birth, and it’s a powerful way to reduce harm for trans and non-binary people.
A great resource to get started here is Archie Bongiovanni and Tristan Jimerson’s book: “A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns.”
Frequently Asked Questions
When is International Transgender Day of Visibility?
Transgender Day of Visibility takes place annually on March 31st. This year, it will take place on Friday, March 31st, 2023.
What is the theme of Transgender Day of Visibility in 2023?
Transgender Day of Visibility, unlike other awareness holidays and heritage months, does not have a single organization setting yearly themes. Some organizations, however, create their own themes. Past examples include a UK group adopting “I Am Enough” for their TDOV campaign, but no official 2023 theme has been announced.
What was the theme of Transgender Day of Visibility in 2022?
In 2022, the theme for Transgender Day of Visibility was “I Am Enough”. Organizers of the #IAMENOUGH theme from the LGBT Foundation in the UK aimed to focus on a message of affirmation, empowerment, and acceptance for trans people, exactly as they are.
What hashtags should I use for Transgender Day of Visibility?
The hashtags most commonly used on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok for Transgender Day of Visibility are: