Today is International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDoV).
This marks the 12th anniversary of the day and the second time the event has taken place during the coronavirus pandemic.
Here’s the lowdown on everything you need to know about it:
What is the International Transgender Day of Visibility?
TDoV was founded by a US-based transgender activist named Rachel Crandall in 2009 to increase the worldwide recognition of trans people.
She wished for there to be a more celebratory occasion for trans people to compliment the Transgender Day of Remembrance (which occurs on 20 November every year and mourns victims of hate crimes and violence).
By 2014, the day had spread to other countries in the world including those in the UK.
Who organises it?
Since 2013, the event has been organised by the US group Trans Student Educational Resources (TSER), a youth group that advocates for trans students in educational environments and beyond.
However, much of the work is done on a grassroots level, with people on social media contributing to it all over the world.
How can I support it?
There are various ways through which to support the day including by donating time, money and resources to trans services such as The Gender Identity Research & Education Society (GIRES) and the Albert Kennedy Trust – which helps homeless LGBTQ+ people find safe housing.
The day also involves using social media to post personal stories and statistics that educate people about trans issues.
TSER say: “We encourage you to have discussions, create direct actions, and spread knowledge about the trans community no matter where you are! You can also join our Facebook event and use hashtag #tdov on social media.”
Usually, there are physical events as well to mark the day but these have been paused due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Why is it important?
Transphobic hate crime reports quadrupled from 2015 to 2020, a BBC investigation found.
Meanwhile, a recent study revealed that almost half of trans employees have quit their job due to experiencing unwelcoming work environments.
And yesterday, Arkansas and South Dakota lawmakers approved plans prohibiting doctors from providing gender confirming hormone treatment or surgery to minors.
There is a need to raise awareness of trans rights to stop instances like these occurring.
What has the reaction been like?
Posting on Twitter, numerous people have expressed their support for the day. Sadiq Khan said:
While others have made contributions: