5 reasons why we need Trans Day of Visibility

Mimi Launder
Saturday 31 March 2018 08:15

Today is an opportunity to mark what we don't mark often enough: the triumphs, struggles and lives of transgender people.

On the Transgender Day of Visibility, which takes place annually on 31 March, take a moment to elevate the accomplishments of trans people (check out #TDOV2018 and #MoreThanVisibility), learn about trans history and educate yourself on trans issues.

But just as important as marking the successes and progress of trans people is remembering setbacks and tragedies that have paved the way. Here are five reasons to make it abundantly clear why trans visibility (today and every day) is so important - and a reminder of the work we, as a society, still have to do.

1. At least 190 trans people have been murdered in the last year

That's since March 31 last year, according to PinkNews, the Trans Murder Monitoring Project and the Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Some of these cases are a tragic result of anti-transgender bias, while others may result from the increased risk suffered by the victim because of their transgender status - for example, forcing them into homelessness.

To read more about their individual stories, the Human Rights Campaign remembers seven transgender people who have been confirmed fatally shot or killed by other violent means in 2018.

2. A quarter of trans people (25 per cent) have experienced homelessness

Stonewall reports that trans people are at an alarmingly high risk of homelessness. 

Living instability often starts early and at home, with more than a quarter subjected to domestic violence. 

3. More than a third of all trans people suffered hate crimes in 2017

More than a third of all transgender people in the UK were a victim of a hate crime in 2017, according to research.

Campaigners believe the statistics could be the "tip of the iceberg", as the majority of victims may not feel safe reporting their experiences to the authorities.

Research by YouGov found that four in five (79 per cent) of trans people did not report their crimes due to a perceived lack of support or fear of further discrimination.

4. Almost half (48 per cent) of trans people in Britain have attempted suicide at least once

The Trans Mental Health survey from 2012 also found that 84 per cent had thought about it and that more than half (55 per cent) have been diagnosed with depression at some point.

5. Half of trans people (51 per cent) have hidden their identity at work for fear of discrimination​

Another damning statistic to demonstrate the urgent need for visibility is the widespread struggle with coming out at work, according to Stonewall.

Transphobia in workspaces is widespread. One in four trans people reported having been discriminated against at work, according to the FRA LGBT Survey.

More: We asked 14 trans activists how cis people can be better allies in 2018