What Does The Trans Visibility Day Theme Mean?

by Eliza Castile
Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

March 31 marks the ninth annual Trans Visibility Day, a celebration of the achievements of the transgender community. Each year, the holiday focuses on a different topic, so what does the Trans Visibility Day theme mean this year? In 2017, it's all about #TransResistance — taking action and speaking out to fight transphobia.

"In the increasingly transphobic global political climate, we must use our newfound visibility to mobilize trans people against oppression. ... This recognizes that while visibility is important, we must take action against transphobia," reads the website for Trans Student Educational Resources (TSER), the organization which has taken over much of the holiday's outreach. While Trans Visibility Day is intended to highlight the many amazing accomplishments of transgender and gender nonconforming people, this year's theme recognizes that this recognition is just one aspect of achieving LGBTQ equality.

"Visibility is not enough alone to bring transgender liberation. However, we can use visibility as a vital tool for transgender justice," TSER explains. That entails "speaking out, taking direct action, and educating others" about how transphobia manifests even in 2017 — or perhaps especially in 2017, considering how the community has been targeted by conservative politicians for months now.

One of clearest examples of transgender visibility, of course, is speaking out about being transgender; simply existing without apology can do so much to fight against the stigmas and prejudices facing the community. Accordingly, some transgender people have taken part in Trans Visibility Day by posting selfies or even coming out online. Meanwhile, some Twitter users have taken the opportunity to call attention to issues facing transgender people.

Others have tweeted information to educate those unfamiliar with the transgender community.

According to its website, Trans Visibility Day was created in 2009 as a "reaction to the lack of LGBT holidays celebrating transgender people’s successes." Although the Transgender Day of Remembrance in November recognizes the community, it's a far more sober occasion. In contrast, Trans Visibility Day is meant to be more lighthearted, pointing out that even in the face of adversity, life is still worth celebrating. This year's theme of resistance was chosen by activist and Trans Youth Leadership Summit fellow Caelan Damocles.

Even if you can't make it to the main event in San Francisco, you can join in the Livestream. Otherwise, simply support the trans community by celebrating in other ways: educating yourself and others, discussing transgender issues, and taking action to resist transphobia. After all, everyone else is doing it — it's almost like resistance is the theme of the day.