Something Cool and New – Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) – Three Actions

From Trans Pride 2020 in the UK

Did something new start this year, or maybe I just wasn’t aware of it?  March 31st as Trans Day of Visibility. So I had to do my research and found the first time March 31st was celebrated as the Trans Day of Visibility was way back in 2009!

Transgender people are becoming much more visible across the world, but there are also a great number of issues around discrimination that need to be addressed. So hopefully more and more people will pay attention to March 31st.

One annual commemoration I have known about and have blogged about a few times is the Transgender Day of Remembrance. The Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, November 20, started in 1999, about a year after Rita Hester, a transgender woman and activist in Boston, was found murdered in her own apartment. It is very sad that transgender people are murdered or physically harmed at an extremely high rate compared to the general population, often fueled by hatred of this misunderstood segment of our community. I wrote my first blog about the Trans Day of Remembrance back in 2015.

It is indeed very important to focus on the totally unjustified and horrific killing of fellow human beings simply because of their gender identity or expression, and this needs to be addressed. But very importantly, we must go further. We need to move way beyond simply ending the violence, but also addressing systemic prejudice against trans people in employment, housing, education, sports and more.

And we also need to honor and recognize all the wonderful contributions transgender people have made to our world over time.

Transgender people have made great contributions to society, like Martine Rothblatt, inventor of Sirius Radio

In my 2015 Transgender Day of Remembrance blog, I shared several organizational policies and procedures that should be put in place to fully support transgender employees.

Now recently, transgender activist and workplace belonging expert Rhodes Perry (see my blog about his book) sent out an email to his many followers this year encouraging all of us to take at least one of 3 actions throughout the year in honor of TDOV:

1) Self-Educate. Participate in one of the Transgender Training Institute’s virtual webinars and support their sustainability campaign.

2) Change Systems. Commit to building gender inclusive systems, policies, and practices by taking the Higher gender inclusion audit.

3) Invest in Trans Leaders. Donate to the Trans Justice Funding Project, and support trans leaders moving & shaking the world.  (Note Total Engagement Consulting contributed $100 to this project on March 31st)

And I myself also love consulting and training in this area, so please never hesitate to get in touch if I can assist you in anyway in advancing transgender and gender nonbinary equity in your organization.

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Do watch my last year’s Transgender Day of Remembrance interview for City of Greensboro’s monthly “One Greensboro” diversity broadcast. The tape is now on Youtube –  the first section is about Native American Heritage Month and then my 9 minute interview around Transgender Awareness starts at the 20 min 50 second mark. 

An Important Book – Belonging at Work: Everyday Actions You Can Take To Cultivate an Inclusive Organization

Rhodes Perry of Rhodes Perry Consulting

In late October, I published the blog, “After Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Comes … BELONGING!” I shared two perspectives; from a North Carolina-based diversity and inclusion consultant (Gracie Johnson-Lopez) who recently spoke at our local HR SHRM chapter, and Rhodes Perry, founder and CEO of a leadership and management consulting firm in Portland, Oregon. I also mentioned that Rhodes was just about to publish his new book about this topic.

The book, Belonging at Work: Everyday Actions You Can Take To Cultivate an Inclusive Organization, is now out! I quickly ordered it and read it, and recommend it to all leaders who need to take that next step of assuring everyone on their team feels they belong so they can contribute their very best.

Rhodes starts the book with a little personal sharing of how his fear of disclosing his being a transgender man, coupled with a general lack of understanding and acceptance of transgender people while working at the White House, stymied his ability to show up as his authentic self at work. This then ended up adding additional stress to his daily responsibilities, foreshadowing his eventual departure for greener pastures.

Starting from his own base of personal experience, Rhodes shares several key concepts along with many practical suggestions on moving from diversity and inclusion to the next step of as he shares, “cultivating a culture of belonging.” Topics Rhodes expands on include:

• The concept of intersectionality; that almost everyone has some aspect of their diversity (gender, race, family status, veteran status, sexual orientation, etc.) that they “cover” at work.

Understanding the difference between equality and equity (graphic from the Interaction Institute for Social Change)


• Understanding the difference between equality and equity. Yes, there is indeed a difference. See graphic to the left and buy Rhodes’ book to understand more.

• The human need for and the power of fostering a sense of belonging at work

• How to apply an equity and empowerment lens by considering people, place, process and power

• How the fast changing global workplace has made belonging even more critical for business success, including the compelling business case for focusing on belonging

• And finally, very importantly, loads of practical actions to take in the workplace to promote belonging; because, at the end of they day, shouldn’t the outcome of reading a book like this be taking practical steps to increase personal and business effectiveness?

In addition to the book, Rhodes has an upcoming 30-Day Belonging Challenge. It offers readers of the book (or future readers) the opportunity to work with the concepts presented and allows them to have a hands on opportunity to put them into practice during the challenge, learning directly from the author himself.

I strongly recommend this book – here is the link to secure your copy. And do consider joining Rhodes’s 30-Day Belonging Challenge.