Today is International Transgender Day of Visibility, a day to celebrate trans and non-binary people, and promote trans rights and raise awareness about the discrimination they continue to face. It’s all about working to actively fight the erasure and silencing that trans and non-binary people often face in a cisnormative society so that trans and non-binary feel seen, and so that cis people see the problems in society that need changing.
But the UK is in lockdown, and that means that most methods of promoting visibility are nearly impossible. While isolated at home, especially if you are not out or your family is not supportive, it can make you feel more invisible than usual. Visibility is so important right now, but to get there we’re going to need to get creative.
Here are five ideas for promoting trans and non-binary visibility while in lockdown:
Using an online platform like Google Docs or Google Drawings, collaborate with supportive friends and family to create a promotional poster. This could be a collage of images found online, educational material, an information flyer, etc. But just because you’re not in the same room with someone, doesn’t mean you can’t work with them to co-create some promotional material. Once you’ve got something completed, share it everywhere you can!
Whether you write something in collaboration with others, download pre-made material off the internet, or write your own piece, an important thing you can do is educate the people in your life about trans identities, experiences and rights. Maybe you could write an educational email and send it to your friends, maybe you could create a powerpoint presentation and show it to your family, or maybe you could take advantage of your one daily walk and hang a few flyers around your neighbourhood to educate your neighbours.
Get your voice heard! Often, when we think of activism, we think of protesters marching in the streets. But activism can take many forms. Write a letter to your local newspaper, call your local government, or even write a post for our Q42 website (info here!) But use this time at home to do your part to advocate for positive social change, however and wherever you can.
Join a social media campaign! Using whatever platform you prefer, whether it’s twitter, Instagram, or something else, watch out for trending hashtags and posts by trans and non-binary people. Share some of the best things you find on your own social media, and even write your own posts too! This is a great way to stay engaged in the community, and also be a part of the conversation!
Fill your day with trans and non-binary people. Watch YouTube videos by trans and non-binary people, or movies and TV shows with trans characters. There will also be an official TDOV livestream! More details here.
Hopefully these five opportunities will help promote visibility in some small way during this difficult time. Isolation is difficult for everyone, but especially for those of us who are isolated with unsupportive people, or for those of us who aren’t out. Erasure and invisibility are horrible experiences, and no one should have to go through that alone. If you’re struggling this TDOV, be sure to reach out for help. 42nd Street offers online support, which you can find here. Or you can contact the LGBT Foundation here.
Otherwise, Happy International Transgender Day of Visibility everyone! Remember that you are important, valued members of this community. We see you! You matter!