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.
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.