TDOV & the Trans Awareness Epidemic
What’s All This TDOV Business?
Transgender Day of Visibility (March 31st) started in 2009 right here in Michigan, thanks to trans activist Rachael Crandall. It has since spread around the globe. The day aims to celebrate transgender community, bringing visibility to their existence and achievements along with the discrimination and adversity they face.
This day is especially important this year given the increase in violence against and suicide by transgender individuals. People need to wake up.
I’ve had the honor of serving on the TDOV committee this year, made up of some kick ass individuals from both the Grand Rapids Pride Center and the Grand Rapids Trans Foundation. We decided that one day was not enough to accomplish our goals so we made this a week-long celebration. Together, we organized a whole slew of events, got roughly 100 local business to fly the trans flag for the week, picked up heaps of local media coverage, and lit up the iconic Blue Bridge in trans colors for the entire week.
While I’m beyond proud of everything we have accomplished this year, these events have opened my eyes to an epidemic in regards to the ignorance of our community. The visibility that we have generated has pulled us out of our LGBTQ+ communities and social circles, and has shed light on the lack of knowledge that exists among the public. Even our allies, despite their genuine intentions, continue to carry confusion and misconceptions on the topic.
Here are some examples of what I’m talking about. These are actual comments and questions that I’ve noticed over the past week:
- “Was there any physical issues that caused this for you?”
- “What was your name before?”
- “Now that you’ve transitioned, what’s next?”
- “There is no such thing as transgender”
- “How is this different than intersex?”
- “Transgender people are just mentally ill and need serious therapy”
- “You can’t just wake up and decide to become a boy”
- (and my personal favorite): “There are more people who eat boogers in GR than TRANNIES but you don’t see them getting special rights”
It’s 2017 people, come on.
[TDOV Event Plug]
Come join us this week for the remaining 2 TDOV events!
Thursday, March 30, 6:30-9:30 pm @ The SpeakEZ: Stories of Stealth, Activism, and Positivity
On the eve of TDOV, join us for a night of celebration and entertainment. Hear inspiring stories from our brothers, sisters, and non-binary siblings, and learn about the positive work happening in the community.
Friday, March 31, 5-7 pm @ The Apartment Lounge: Fundraiser for Grand Rapids Pride Center & Grand Rapids Trans Foundation
Come out and show your personal pride, commitment to end discrimination, and solidarity with the Trans Community. 50/50 Raffle and more with hors d’oeuvres provided by West Michigan Caterer.