Last fall, we provided some content in Whitman Today regarding Transgender Day of Remembrance. It’s critically important that we call attention to the manner in which the trans community is being targeted, brutalized and discriminated against. It’s also important that we work to advance representation, affirmation and visibility. Today, March 31, is International Trans Day of Visibility (TDoV).

The Human Rights Campaign describes TDoV as a “time to celebrate transgender people around the globe and the courage it takes to live openly and authentically, while also raising awareness around the discrimination trans people still face.”

In a 2015 article, fierce trans rights activist Janet Mock explained that even though there are more transgender people in the public eye than ever before, the discussion of transgender issues still tends to exclude non-binary and non-gender conforming people, and noted that some transgender people are still more privileged than others if they are perceived as being cisgender. Carolyn Mercer of the Stonewall Trans Advisory Group noted, “for trans people to feel safe enough to be visible, we need more people to come out as allies and show their support for the trans community.”

Whitman College has a new student organization dedicated to centering the needs and concerns of trans students of Whitman. We are also actively searching for a new, full-time director of LGBTQIA+ student services. Trans Day of Visibility serves as an excellent moment for many of us to continue our DEIA learning journey and focus on improving our understanding and support for the trans community. The UCLA Library Film & Television Archives contains a collection of resources that center the lives and experiences of transgender people can be found.