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More Than a Day: Uplifting TGNC Voices During TDOV & Beyond

Written By: Taylor Edelmann 

We were hoping to provide a more uplifting update from our Trans Day of Visibility blog post last year, but unfortunately, as many know, this isn’t the case. In the words of award-winning writer, activist, media strategist, and Black trans liberator, Raquel Willis, “I think this year people outside of the community, or people who aren’t as connected to these issues understand, more now than maybe ever before, the double-edged sword of visibility.” 

 

Despite the rise of more transgender and gender nonconforming representation in media, the reality remains that most trans folks, chiefly Black and Brown trans women, have garnered little to no positive outcome from this. Over the last five years, nearly 700 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced, which parallels the steady increase in anti-transgender violence that we have seen. 

 

TDOV, or Trans Day of Visibility, is the culmination of a week-long campaign called Trans Week of Visibility and Action, created by Deputy Director for Transgender Justice with the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project, Chase Strangio, and Willis herself. The campaign started in 2021 as a way to fight back against anti-trans legislation and rhetoric by focusing on a different state each day. Now in its second year, they’re looking to attract more attention and open up a conversation about the tidal wave of transphobic legislation. 

 

The unfortunate truth is that much of this legislation could be done away with if the government finally chose to pass The Equality Act. However, we know and have known that the government doesn’t care about the health and well-being of TGNC folks. Issues surrounding access to care, athletics, sex work, gender identity documents, restrooms, adoption, and non-discrimination have existed as long as we have and will continue without consistent push back. These, in addition to resistance against the War on Drugs, signify a greater collective struggle for bodily autonomy and the understanding that queer liberation means liberation for us all. With this in mind, we choose to take a different approach to honor the day.

 

Many advocates and folks from the community say that TDOV extends far beyond one day or one week. This got us thinking of dope ways to spread some trans joy since we have to constantly grapple with a world that is trying its best to both erase us and silence us.

 

We’re asking you, the community, to nominate TGNC individuals (yes, you can totally nominate yourself!) who are making moves at the intersection of TGNC health and harm reduction. Our community has always had to be innovative, creative, and scrappy to ensure our survival. That work often gets overlooked or is expected, so we thought this would be a great way to thank you for all you’ve contributed. 

 

If you or someone you know would like to be featured in our, “On the Fron-Queer: Trans & Non-Binary Harm Reduction Baddies,” campaign, please click here. Our goal is to feature one individual each month for the next several months. This will consist of a brief virtual interview with our LGBTQIA+ Health & Harm Reduction Manager that we will feature on all NHRC social media accounts, newsletters, and accompanying blog posts. Preference given to TGNC BIPOC, disabled, and/or undocumented folks, and we expect to compensate each person for their time and energy. 

 

For questions or information regarding the next Lighthouse Learning Collective meeting, email Taylor Edelmann (he/him) at edelmann@harmreduction.org.