March 31 is International Transgender Day of Visibility. Within our culture, and across the globe, there has been an amazing uptick in the visibility of our trans and gender non-conforming (GNC) community members — and this is overwhelmingly because of the courage of countless transgender men and women, and their allies, who work tirelessly to raise awareness, speak out, and live authentically as who they are. And it’s not just famous or highly visible trans advocates who are helping turn the tide (though that’s great, too); whenever any trans or GNC community member claims visibility, and speaks up in the face of prejudice, that act of courage helps change our world for the better. These 11 quotes from transgender folks about what it means to be visible are important reading, today and every day.
For trans folks, today is your day to be celebrated, and acknowledged for your phenomenal strength and resilience, and for your thrive. No matter the current political climate, our trans community members are poised to keep living their best lives, and these quotes reflect the rich history of the trans community's flourishing. Check out these quotes to inspire, uplift, and celebrate our trans and gender non-conforming friends on Trans Day of Visibility.
“In trans women’s eyes, I see a wisdom that can only come from having to fight for your right to be recognized as female, a raw strength that only comes from unabashedly asserting your right to be feminine in an inhospitable world.” —Julia Serano
"We are not what other people say we are. We are who we know ourselves to be, and we are what we love. That’s OK." — Laverne Cox
“I followed the trail out of the room, invigorated by the possibility of reinventing my own body. The meaning was mine, as long as I was with those who had the vision and vocabulary to understand my creation.” — Nick Krieger
“I exclusively use they/them and he/him pronouns now, and that is what I expect people to use when referring to me in the past. I know this sounds confusing, but I think it’s okay to have a different set of rules for myself in relation to my gender and past than I do for others.” — Nevo Zisin
"There isn’t a trans moment. There were zero, and now there are 10 to 15. That’s not a moment. [...] It’s just a presence where there was an absence. We deserve so much more.” — Hari Nef
“Transgender folks have been part of the push for LGBT equality from the beginning, and we’ve spoken with loud and intelligent voices and have found political and personal success and advancement all over the world.” — Chelsea Manning
“I’ve always been transgender, and I always will be. Having said that, my spirit is feminine. If you had to divide humanity into two groups, I would sit with the women.” — Anohni
“Makeup can be used to express yourself as well. Those experiences should not be limited to women. Everyone should be free to be as colorful as they want to be.” — Ian Thomas Malone
"There's power in naming yourself, in proclaiming to the world that this is who you are. Wielding this power is often a difficult step for many transgender people because it's also a very visible one." — Janet Mock
"People ask the same questions about me being transgender. [...] And I tell them, ‘You know, I’m not just a transgender individual, I’m also Jazz.’ I’m a soccer player, I’m an artist, I love to be creative. I am a representative in my class office. I’m on the varsity soccer team, I am going to do tennis later in the year. I’m in the Gay-Straight Alliance and the Jewish Student Connection, as well.'" — Jazz Jennings
But from the moment I had voiced my trans identity that first night, every step I took felt like coming home. — Calvin Payne Taylor