Turning Transgender 'Visibility' into Meaningful Change for Transgender People

Today is the Transgender Day of Visibility, which is a moment to take stock of what “visibility” actually means in the day-to-day lives of transgender people around the world. As we become more visible in society, what is also visible is how much work remains to be done to create positive change for all transgender people.

While the visibility of high-profile trans people like Laverne Cox and Janet Mock has helped to shift the narrative about our community, we must acknowledge that visibility for many of our trans brothers and sisters is still not possible because it subjects them to discrimination and violence. Thus far in 2015, the epidemic of violence against young transgender women of color has been more visible in our country than ever before.  In addition to this violence, we have also seen and heard about the suicides of several transgender youth, including most recently Blake Brockington, a young trans man of color.

How can we celebrate visibility when it still leads to arrest, violence, and, too often, death?

We must continue to work to address the disparate outcomes experienced by transgender youth of color in their homes, schools, and social service programs. We must ensure that school is a refuge for trans youth, not a battle ground, as it has been for our client Gavin Grimm at his school in Glouster County, Virginia. We must ensure that when trans youth need to access social services, they can do so without fear that they their identities will be mocked, dismissed, or met with violence.

After being pushed out of their communities and into the streets, many of transgender youth engage in criminalized economies to address basic needs like housing and food. Inevitably, under these conditions just surviving makes these young people especially “visible” and vulnerable to profiling by police, street violence, and other victimization.  Many of these youth who were kicked out of their homes preferred to brave the streets rather than attempt to navigate homeless shelters and other temporary housing that they knew to be transphobic and dangerous.

Today, as we acknowledge that some of us are able to be visible and safe in our homes, workplaces, and communities, let’s take the opportunity to work for those of us who cannot be visible without experiencing harm. Today, let’s work for schools that embrace and protect trans student’s right to use school facilities consistent with their gender identities. Today, let’s demand trans-affirming foster homes and homeless shelters for trans youth who are pushed out of their homes and schools.

Our community needs more than visibility; we need safety and life affirming services for the most vulnerable among us. 

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Anonymous

Transgender sand homosexuals are living an evil sin against God.You must turn away from evil and pray to our lord Jesus.What your doing is nasty and vial.Your human parts are not suppose to be used for what your thoughts are of sex.your butt is to expunge your waste from your body and nothing more.You can't procreate and you are going against the natural order of nature.We as Christians love all of you but will not ever accept what your doing and will fight for what's right.Love the sinner but hate the sin.

Loving God

Change your ways and fight evil.You can be helped by praying to our lord God.Transgender and homosexuality is wrong and goes against all laws of nature.You still have a chance to live a good Christian life.Love the sinner but hate the sin

Adrian

You can say you are a Christian all you want, but didn't Jesus say "But above all, love yourselves above everything else, for love covers a multitude of sins?" Also, the bible also states that "there is no man or woman," and as a Roman Catholic I was taught that God (and angels as well) is neither male nor female. Jesus was also believed to have blessed a gay centurion. If Jesus were here right now, He would defend transgender people because God loves all of his children and sacrificed himself for them, even for those like you that were not worth it. So kindly fuck off.

Sincerely,

A Catholic trans man.

Anonymous

At the comments above, I'm actually quite surprised by your ignorance. If procreation is why homosexuality is wrong, then why aren't infertile women and men shamed as well? (eating shrimp is more often called an abomination than homosexuality.) And about the transgender community, keep in mind that God gave us all a chance to grow and find ourselves and him throughout our lives. What if part of finding ourselves, is also accepting who we are? Some of us have to work in order to find ourselves and grow and develop. This seems to be the opposite of you self-righteous Christians who think they have it all figured out. You are not God. You have no right to deny us our rights and our lives. So please take your highly offensive "opinions" and kindly shove them up your rear, since according to you it is only for excreting waste. (Remind me again why the male g-spot is up the anus?)

Anonymous

Religions continues to spew their hate, intolerance and stupidity will only further the cause of the LGBT community. The above comments from the Christians only further proves they are in a declining minority and like their Muslim extremists that want Sahria law are in the decline. They wrongfully believe the are in a position to contiue oppressing and dictacting their belief system on the majority of Americans who as they propigate their hate further distance themselves. The tighter they grip this country the faster it slips from their grasp. Please do hate on in epic levels so we all may be free from your religious insanity!

Carles

Read John 3:16 Thank you.look my name up and what it means.I pray for love not hate and fear for all God's people.

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