March 31 is International Transgender Day of Visibility! Founded in 2009 by transgender activist Rachel Crandall, Transgender Day of Visibility uplifts the livelihood, resilience, and accomplishments of transgender people. Today also serves as a call to action to take the necessary steps to foster a safe and affirming world for people of all gender identities, and to encourage all service providers to practice a culturally-responsive, person-centered approach to care that appropriately addresses the unique health and social service needs of this community.
As we commit to reducing mental health and social disparities for transgender communities, here are simple steps everyone can take to affirm their lives and identities:
- Learn about transgender lives, history, and terminology. There are lots of films, books, podcasts, TV series, websites, and social media pages that can help with this!
- Educate yourself about the difference between gender identity and assigned sex, and how neither is binary.
- Believe transgender people! Use the correct name and pronouns that a transgender person goes by, even if you don’t think you fully understand their perspective or experience.
- Learn about the importance of pronouns. If you are a direct service provider, practice introducing yourself with your pronouns, and ask all your clients which pronouns they use when meeting someone for the first time. Add your pronouns to your email signature, display name on virtual platforms like MS Teams or Zoom, and business cards. This sends a powerful message that you acknowledge and respect diverse gender identities.
- Respect TGI people’s privacy and confidentiality. Gender identity is personal, and everyone has the right to decide whether, when, how, or to whom they disclose their authentic gender. If you’re unsure whether it’s okay to share someone else’s gender identity, check with them first.
- Recognize and challenge anti-transgender discrimination, including microaggressions. Check out LA County’s campaign against targeted violence against transgender community members.
- Volunteer, donate, and/or spread the word about organizations working for TGI equality. Some local organizations to know include Gender Justice LA, Translatin@ Coalition, Bienestar, Center for Transyouth Health and Development at Children’s Hospital LA, and Trans Wellness Center.
Additional LGBTQ+ resources are also available here.