Every year, Transgender Day of Visibility is recognized on March 31st to celebrate transgender people and bring awareness to the devastating amounts of discrimination they face every day of their lives.
In 2009, an activist living in Michigan began the day of awareness because she didn’t see enough recognition for the struggles faced by transgender folks within the LGBTQ2IA+ community.
The only other day people recognize transgender peoples’ experiences is the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which is a day to mourn transgender people who have been murdered.
Transgender Day of Visibility is a day of celebration more than a somber occasion.
On Thursday, March 30th, Kelli Paddon, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity released a statement in honour of the occasion.
A flag was raised at 9 a.m. and Paddon spoke. Several MLAs and representatives were in attendance as well as speakers from UVic’s transgender studies, QMUNITY and Mayor Marianne Alto.
“On Transgender Day of Visibility we recognize and celebrate the transgender, non-binary and Two-Spirit people in our families, communities and workplaces,” said Paddon.
“Visibility matters. Everyone deserves to see themselves and their contributions represented in our communities. And yet, so many transgender people continue to be marginalized and discriminated against.”
Paddon recognized in her statement that unconscious bias can play a large role in discrimination against transgender folks and the only remedy for this is to be responsible for our own biases and work to break them.
By breaking these biases, British Columbians can work toward making sure the trans experience is not erased and their participation in society is not blocked.
Paddon said she believes that the BC NDPs are doing their best to reduce barriers to transgender, non-binary and Two-Spirit people and they are achieving this by listening to the perspectives that offer lived experience of navigating these barriers.
“This week, we once again proudly raise the transgender flag on the lawn of the B.C. legislature, as the first government in B.C. history to do so,” Paddon said.
“For our trans friends, neighbours, family and community members, please know that we see you and honour you.”
“B.C. has a strong trans community with people who are making a difference for so many others in our province and around the globe.”