Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) honors and celebrates the lives of transgender and nonbinary people. They are our colleagues, clients, friends, neighbors and family. TDOV helps raise awareness of how much work still needs to be done for trans and nonbinary folks to live safely and thrive, free from bias, discrimination and acts of violence. This is where we come in. Trans allies like me must also be visible on Transgender Day of Visibility – and every day – to help create welcoming, respectful and trans-inclusive spaces.
Not sure how to be a trans ally?
Trans and nonbinary allies help build more gender-inclusive workplaces, schools and homes. Maybe you’re not sure where to begin. Remember that “ally” is also a verb. So here are four way you can ally with the transgender and nonbinary communities.
Transgender and nonbinary people in numerous states face multiple barriers in workplaces, housing, education and healthcare. I’m distressed whenever I think my adult child could be fired in 21 states because of who they are. Of the 192 ant-LGBTQ bills being considered in state legislatures right now, 93 directly target transgender people. And anti-trans bills are on the desks of governors in four states. Being aware of the issues can help you understand what your co-workers and friends might be going through right now. Allies can be supportive by knowing legislation in the works.
Try using “they” more often as a singular pronoun. My guess is you’ve probably already used “they-them-their” pronouns in the singular. For example, pre-pandemic, if you found a cell phone on the conference table after a meeting, you’d say, “Someone left their cell phone here.” Also, think about renaming yourself in your next Zoom meeting to include your pronouns after your name. That simple gesture lets trans and nonbinary people know you see and respect them.
Do your own research.
Trans and nonbinary people are not responsible for your education. They should not have to explain themselves to you. Unsure of the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation? Need clarification on what nonbinary means? Take a quick minute to look it up. The It Gets Better Project has a fantastic glossary. And please share what you learn with friends and family.
Changing the world requires action. Take another quick minute to call elected officials. You may not know that you don’t have to live in a state to call its governor and voice your opposition to anti-trans legislation that’s targeting vulnerable transgender kids. The most extreme anti-trans bill in the country is just one signature away from becoming law in Arkansas. Here’s a link from the ACLU on how to contact Arkansas Gov. Hutchinson and tell him to end attacks on trans youth by vetoing HB 1570.
While transgender visibility is at an all-time high right now, trans allies must also be visible every day. Together we absolutely can make a difference.
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