Celebrating Trans Day of Visibility 2021, here are some of the groundbreaking achievements made by trans people as well as uplifting news stories from the trans community this year.
On March 31, the world comes together for Trans Day of Visibility to highlight the astounding contributions trans people have made throughout history and raise awareness about the discrimination still experienced by many. Although the LGBTQ+ community can’t come together in person due to lockdown restrictions, there’s still numerous ways to mark the date, as seen by last year’s event.
So without further ado, here are some of the most amazing stories from this year:
ConverSayTrans podcast launches
In their podcast series, ConverSayTrans, the Stairlings Collective explore trans culture and history, speaking to some incredible guests and diving into amazing archival material along the way. Made with funding from Create and in collaboration with TENI, the series creators recognise the need for intergenerational dialogue and community care for trans people and hope that ConverSayTrans helps to be part of that.
‘It’s What You Wear’
OUTing the Past: The International Festival of LGBT History gets underway today at 3pm. Find the full schedule of free events here: https://t.co/cF7dT4Txfe
— National Gallery of Ireland (@NGIreland) March 22, 2021
The phenomenal trans activist Sara R Phillips brought the OUTing the Past Festival to a close with a sensational talk about the role of clothing in the trans community. From her own personal experience as well as materials from the Irish trans archive, It’s What You Wear offered a fascinating insight into something that may seem everyday on the surface but carries a multitude of meanings behind it. So definitely check it out on Trans Day of Visibility 2021.
Non-binary trans activist and poet Ollie Bell and artist Neave Alouf came together to dream the ideal future for our queer family: how would it look, sound, feel? What new roads will we travel? What new dreams will be planted in our heads? In GCN’s January 2021 edition, they explored a rich and beautiful queer utopia through jaw-dropping visuals and sensational words.
Bell writes, “We have fought back,/ Pulled, pushed, dragged, / Those still living with an outdated view / About who should have a say / In what we do with our bodies.”
To re-experience this incredible piece of art on Trans Day of Visibility 2o21, follow this link.
The Beauty of Being Deaf
Trans activist, artist, and actor Chella Man has created a stunning celebration of being deaf in this underwater signed poetry video. He signed, “When you think of beauty… you’re not taught to think of me. We are often told: we have lost. We have a loss. We are at a loss.”
“But through this loss there is a great gain, perhaps even such a gain that we forget about the loss. In the face of prejudice, we gain strength. Other senses heightened, coming together to form a dynamic perspective of life we will always carry,” the video continues.
‘I’m fully who I am’
Oscar-nominated actor Elliot Page became the first trans man to star on the front cover of Time and he was more than ready for this moment. As part of the magazine’s March/April cover issue, he opened up about his coming out journey, trans equality, and living openly.
During the interview, Page describes his journey as, “This feeling of true excitement and deep gratitude to have made it to this point in my life mixed with a lot of fear and anxiety.”
Trans teen speaks on importance of Equality Act
WATCH 16-year old Stella Keating testify: “As a high-school sophomore, I’m starting to look at colleges. And all I can think about is this: less than half of the states in our country provide equal protection for me under the law… How is that even American?” pic.twitter.com/bkhCVObNlD
— Senate Judiciary Committee (@JudiciaryDems) March 17, 2021
16 year-old trans high school student Stella Keating left the world speechless after delivering a moving testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee asking that Congress pass the Equality Act. In an opening that resonates with the message of Trans Day of Visibility 2021, she said, “Hi, I’m Stella, and I’m transgender. I’m here before you today, representing the hundreds of thousands of kids, just like me, who are supported and loved by their family, friends, and community across the country.”
Keating went on to call out the fact that she could be refused employment or healthcare in many States. She asked, “How is that even right? How is that even American? Even if my employer is supportive, I still have to live somewhere, eat in restaurants, have a doctor. And why am I having to worry about all of this at the age of 16?”
‘Meet Leyna Bloom’
Meet Leyna Bloom the Latest Rookie of SI Swim 2021 https://t.co/8wGkKzPuz4
— Leyna Bloom (@leynabloom) March 16, 2021
Model Leyna Bloom made history as the first trans woman of colour to appear in Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue. On her Instagram, she wrote, “My spirit has reached new levels. This moment is bigger than my wildest infinite dreams. At this moment, I am a representation of all the communities I grew from, and all the communities I’m planting seeds in.”
Class is in session
34 year-old trans woman Rani Khan opened Pakistan’s first Islamic religious school, referred to as a madrasa, exclusively for trans people. Speaking with Reuters, she stated that the creation of this space was inspired by a dream where a deceased friend asked her to do something for the trans community.
Further speaking about the drive to set up this two-room madrasa for the trans community, Khan said, “I’m teaching the Quran to please God, to make my life here and in the hereafter.”
Rachel Levine makes history
Rachel Levine made history by becoming the first openly trans person to be confirmed by the US Senate, becoming the Assistant Secretary for Health for the Biden administration. Levine shared, “As Vice President Harris has said, I recognise that I may be the first, but I am heartened by the knowledge that I will not be the last. When I assume this position, I will stand on the shoulders of those who came before – people we know throughout history and those whose names we will never know because they were forced to live and work in the shadows.”
A queen is crowned
27 year-old Kataluna Enriquez has made history by becoming the first out trans woman ever to win the Miss Silver State USA beauty pageant, the state’s largest preliminary competition. This monumental victory sets her on the path towards competing for Miss USA and Miss Universe.
Speaking with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Enriquez shared, “With pageantry, people think it is only about beauty. But it’s how you present yourself, what you advocate for, what you’ve done, and the goals you have.”
Trans student awarded $300,000 settlement in discrimination lawsuit
A trans teen filed a complaint against his school, Coon Rapids, after the board threatened to discipline him if he kept using the boys’ locker room. The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota and the nonprofit Gender Justice have announced a $300,000 settlement in the lawsuit.
In a released statement, student Nick said, “I never want any student to experience the discrimination and cruelty I experienced from the adults at my school. It means a lot to see the courts protect transgender students like me. Today’s settlement agreement makes it very clear that segregating transgender students doesn’t just dehumanize us, it violates our legal rights.”
Geneticist de-bunks anti-trans rhetoric
In a recent interview with NPR, paediatrician and geneticist Dr Eric Vilain de-bunked multiple anti-trans policies and called this discriminatory rhetoric out. As a strong advocate for trans athletes, the researcher stated, “But the question is whether there is in real life, during actual competitions, an advantage of performance linked to this male hormone and whether trans athletes are systematically winning all competitions. The answer to this latter question, are trans athletes winning everything, is simple – that’s not the case.”
Beautiful LGBTQ+ Family
Hair is a large part of our identity. And for LGBTQ+ youth like Sawyer, who choose to express themselves, their style, & their creativity through their hair style, it can help them feel seen.
— Pantene Pro-V (@Pantene) March 15, 2021
A Pantene shampoo ad featured the heartwarming story of two lesbian moms, Ashley and Ellie, raising a trans girl, Sawyer. One of the mothers shared, “She has always been super gender creative, and hair has been a big part of her transition. Once she told us that she identified as a girl, she immediately wanted to grow her hair out.”
Sawyer expressed, “It made me feel good and confident and it made my insides match my outside.”
The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), which decides on the certification of movies and episodic content, have recommended a selection of films about the trans experience to encourage conversations among families. Compliance and education manager for the BBFC, Sarah Peacock, said, “Films are excellent springboards for starting conversations. We’ve selected three films rated PG and 12 and two films at 15, so there is something for the whole family to pick from, with a range of different themes to explore together.
Trans activist and author Ugla Stefania Kristjonudottir Jonsdottir expressed, “We know it can be hard to find time to sit down with your kids to learn about new issues and ideas. We hope that this resource will open up a space for really meaningful and worthwhile discussions with children and young people about identity, and what it means to explore who you are.”
For more information, check out the BBFC website.
‘If Found’ double win
The phenomenal interactive novel about a trans woman in 1990’s Ireland, If Found, made a massive splash with a double win at the inaugural Gayming Awards – Best LGBTQ Narrative Award and Best LGBTQ Indie Game Award.
Founder, and editor of Gayming Magazine, Robin Gray, commented, “2020 was truly a watershed moment for LGBTQ inclusion.”
First ever trans pageant competition launches in Nigeria
Nigeria will be holding a first-of-its-kind pageant ‘Miss Trans Global Nigeria‘, a franchise of Miss Trans Global, an international digital pageant for trans and gender nonconforming people from all backgrounds. Organisers are hopeful this will be an opportunity to create visibility for the local trans community.
The organisers spoke on the significance of this competition, “We hope to use this opportunity to raise awareness for transgender women suffering worldwide who are struggling to survive at these difficult times of COVID-19 due to family rejections, homelessness, lack of jobs and earning opportunities.”
Nats Getty comes out as trans and non-binary
Nats Getty, who is married to YouTube star Gigi Gorgeous, came out as trans and non-binary in a powerful statement about self-discovery. The 28 year-old designer said, “I am transgender, non-binary. I have spent my entire life not in sync with the body I was born with and confined by an outwardly appearance that did not match my mind or soul. It wasn’t until recently that I was even comfortable admitting this to myself, once I was able to look inwards and truly reflect on my authentic self.”
Happy Trans Day of Visibility 2021 to all of our readers!
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