Laverne Cox Explains Why Trans Visibility Day Is Vital
This particular Friday isn't your typical day of the week, but a much more important one. It is a day recognizing the transgender community and ensuring it no longer remains invisible. Laverne Cox is celebrating the Transgender Day of Visibility, which is every March 31, with a powerful post that everyone should take the time to read because it explains exactly why a day like this is so vital.
In a time when the transgender community is experiencing more exclusion than inclusion, it's important for transgender individuals and allies to come together and speak out for the rights and protections that trans people truly deserve. Enter Cox, who has broken barriers as a black transgender actor, and is who speaking up about what this day means to her.
She wrote on Instagram:
As an out, visible, black, transgender woman everyday is #TransDayOfVisibility for me. My blackness, transness and womanhood are political, social and historic realities. But my spirit, my soul, my humanity transcend these identity categories. As an artist I have always yearned for transcendence. Today I continue to do the spiritual work towards that transcendence. But the political, social and historic realities of the multiple identities I inhabit, continue to affect how I and people like me move through the world and access space and resources.
As the Trans Student Educational Resources website explains about the Transgender Day of Visibility, "[It] is a day to show your support for the trans community. It aims to bring attention to the accomplishments of trans people around the globe while fighting cissexism and transphobia by spreading knowledge of the trans community." TDOV is considered "a day of empowerment and getting the recognition we deserve!"
For Cox, TDOV is an event for a reason. It's not just another day on the calendar, but one that will hopefully do great things for the transgender community in the long run. The former Doubt actor explained, "In this context it becomes necessary, vital to celebrate ourselves and these socially constructed yet personally, politically and historically relevant identities we inhabit."
Cox and other people who identify as transgender are uniting on this day to be "visible for those who can not be." As much as she is visible and as much as transgender visibility has become more prominent over the years, she recognizes that visibility and being open isn't possible for everyone right now. That's why TDOV is so important. Allow her to explain even further:
We acknowledge that trans folks experience violence disproportionately, that the past 3 years there have been more murders of trans folks than since we have been tracking trans homicides. We acknowledge that trans students are under attack in the United States. We #StandwithGavin Grimm and trans students like him across this nation fighting for dignity and equal access. We acknowledge that bills like HB2 and the bill masquerading as a repeal of that bill but is only more discrimination, are about erasing trans people from public life.
Cox has made it clear that she and others will do whatever it takes to ensure transgender individuals will not be erased or stigmatized any longer. She is letting her voice be heard as a transgender woman and she won't be silenced.
It's people like Cox who have shown, and will continue to show, others why the transgender community should forever remain visible.