Tuesday March 31st is the 7th annual International Transgender Day of Visibility. Established by transgender activist Rachel Crandall in 2009, ITDV has campaigned tirelessly to promote the efforts and achievements of transgender people across the world while simultaneously spreading awareness and tackling causes and symptoms of transphobia.
Michigan-based Crandall has seen ITDV gain enough momentum to be recognized more widely outside of the US over the last couple of years. 2014 saw Ireland and Scotland take up the fight in their own back yards. BaDoink believes it’s time to alert more people to IDTV and the people they celebrate.
From the outside looking in, you could be forgiven for believing that great advances have been made in closing the gap between the trans community and wider society. After all, Britain will go to the ballot box in May with two trans candidates, Emily Brothers and Charlie Kiss, vying for a place in the historic Houses of Parliament. Model Andreja Pejić announced her gender reassignment in the press to a warm reception from many people. Madhu Kinnar is India’s first transsexual mayor. Just think about that for a second. Even at the turn of the millennium we would never have considered such advances.
But the sad truth is that these examples are the exceptions. For every Madhu Kinnar there are hundreds more – rich, poor, black, white, gay, hetero – who are subjected to bullying, harassment, violence, rape and murder in their places of work, in their schools, even from within their own families. The statistics compiled and published by Trans Student Educational Resources show the stark, undeniable and upsetting truths of how difficult life can be for some.
41% of transgender people attempt suicide in their lifetime. Half have been the victim of rape or assault by a romantic partner. Nearly two thirds have faced verbal harassment in any walk of life. Getting the picture yet?
ITDV understands that it can’t change the world by clicking their fingers. It’s about taking things one step at a time until we find ourselves at a point where the Pejićs and Kinnars of this world aren’t rare artefacts but another stitch in the tapestry. So read up on their Facebook page and get tooled-up on any of the resource websites and communities available. Let’s spread the love.