Transgender flag painted on the Wright State Rock | Photo by Diana Jaber | The Wright State Guardian
Transgender Day of Visibility, March 31, celebrates the transgender community while bringing awareness to the unique issues the transgender population faces.
The transgender identity
According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, transgender (commonly referred to as trans) identity is any person who does not identify with their sex assigned at birth, including genderqueer, gender non-binary, and gender-nonconforming persons.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, transgender people number about two million, or less than one percent of the U.S. population. Twenty-nine percent of the adult trans community are impoverished, and are at a higher risk for discrimination, violence, unemployment and decreased higher education enrollment.
Transgender Day of Visibility holds special meaning for each identifying member. For some, it is a celebration of how far society has come in accepting not only the trans community but LGBTQA communities at large.
“Trans Day of Visibility is a way for us to celebrate the diversity we’re seeing, celebrate the fact that our culture has shifted into a place where young people feel confident coming out at younger ages,” Charlie Chadwick, president of P-Flag Dayton, a non-profit group providing education and support for local LGBTQA youth and their families said.
For others, this day serves as a platform to bring awareness to the violence and discrimination the transgender community faces.
“For me personally, trans day of visibility serves to bring to light the fact that people are still very much being marginalized,” Hawke Kerstanski, a gender non-binary Wright State University (WSU) student said.
The Human Rights Campaign tracked 44 violent deaths of transgender individuals in 2020 and another 21 deaths in the first few months of 2021.
On this day discussions around laws and policies affecting the trans community come up. Over the past decades, transgender and LGBTQA issues have moved out of the personal sphere and into public areas.
Lawmakers pass laws supporting the trans community, as well as laws going against the trans community.
The Equality Act is awaiting approval from the U.S. Senate. If signed into law, it would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity and sexual orientation. At the same time, multiple states debate bills regarding transgender persons in sports.
Christyn Brewer, a transgender woman and WSU junior says that an accepting community is a positive aspect of being trans. She reported finding her safe community at WSU.
“Wright State overall has provided a safe place where I don’t feel the immediate threat of discrimination,” Brewer said.
Brewer also said that she has faced transphobia, or the discrimination of trans persons, in the workplace but, overall has had a positive trans experience.
The Trevor Project offers educational sources while WSU and the surrounding Dayton community offer other resources for trans and LGBTQ individuals including TIGA, P-Flag, and the Gatlin Dame group.