Transgender Pride Flag

Carson Homsley, Reporter

The Trans Day of Visibility event happened on March 31, 2023 as it was a celebration for the increasing visibility of the transgender community. The event was small yet had a handful of the trans and gender-nonconforming community give speeches which varied in length and tone. 

“As a lot of you already know there’s been a lot of violence against the queer community as of late, especially transgender people and people under the transgender umbrella. Anti-trans legislation is being pushed across the country with more bills being produced fast, so far 492 anti-trans bills have been introduced across 47 states in 2023 alone. 25 of which have been passed and 424 actively trying to get passed… 43 bills have been shut down which is roughly 10.7% of the bills…Today is International Transgender Day of Visibility, it’s a day of happiness, it’s a day of pride, and it’s a day to be seen. So let’s do that, let’s see today.”


“I have the absolute privilege of working weekly with LGBTQ+ youth. The teens I get to work with inspire me with their energy, and their open minds, their compassion for others, and the courage that they have to be authentic to themselves. Transgender Day of Visibility did not exist until the year 2009 when it was created by transgender activist, Rachael Krandall. It gained increased traction in part thanks to the trans youth-led organization, Transgender Student Educational Resources. In 2009, I was 12 and I was in the closet with absolutely no plans to come out anytime soon. It would take me another 10 years until I allowed myself to fully accept my orientation and my identity… Invisibility felt suffocating, but it was the only way I knew how to live…Visibility is belt slowly through education, media, advocacy, and the sharing of stories. When I was a kid, my transgender identity was my greatest shame and it was my greatest secret, and fear; and in adulthood my transgender visibility has become my greatest savior…Transgender youth are growing up under siege while they deserve protection, safety, and affirmation. No child should have to hear politicians debating their right to exist. Transgender youth deserve visibility without fear of violence… One of the single most powerful acts of youth suicide prevention that adults can take is to provide an affirming, accepting environment for youth and teens. Allowing your transgender or queer child to be visible, to express themselves, and to have conversations about LGBTQ+ topics can literally save their life… Trans Day of Visibility celebrates the living it seeks to briefly break focus from the constant violence and the danger that the trans community faces…¨


“I am also a son, I am a brother, and a friend. I am an Uncle, a grandson, a nephew, I am a student, a cousin, and a coworker. And unfortunately many lawmakers can’t see that. They are so blinded by hate that they can’t see the depth that trans people have, they can’t see the love, and they can’t see our joy…Once an old friend told me that she was scared for me and our other trans friend because of the rate of violent hate crimes. We were like 15. No 15 year old should have to worry that their friend or themselves will die for fully accepting who they are… We need to appreciate our existence as trans people and celebrate our accomplishments.”


”When I was younger, I had no idea what transgender meant or what it looked like, I had no role models…I thought I was a lesbian; so I came out a lesbian. I didn’t fit in to any of the peer groups of lesbians though… They would ask me if I was butch, you’re clearly not fem… I didn’t know. I was clueless. I just followed along. I graduated high school in 1996… And that year, Melissa Etheridge became my hero and her music became my anthem. I signed up for the delayed entry program for the United States Army… But nothing prepared me for the ‘Do Not Ask. Do Not Tell’ policy that came down from our Commander in Chief, President Bill Clinton. When they find me out, would I end up in a military prison? That threat was very real, and I lived with that fear every single day that I was serving. So I had to lie… I had to keep my mouth shut because I watched other women get Article Fifteens and be dishonorably discharged from the United States Army because they might’ve engaged in lewd behavior or talk openly about being gay. Back then, that is the life we lived in, we lived in fear. And that’s not a time I look back on proudly because I had a role to play in that, outing many women from my company and I still have to live with that to this day. It wouldn’t be til I was in my 30’s that I would come out transgender…And life took me to San Francisco… And that was in 2009. And as you guys heard earlier that is the year that the day of visibility became a thing… Would someone love me for who I am and who am I exactly? So I learned the term gender queer and I came out gender queer in San Francisco. And one evening my girlfriend came up to me and said ‘You know what, I gotta tell you something. You’re trans and that’s okay.’… I went on to being a case study for the University of Washington. I was the first patient that served on their patient pannel for transgender affirming surgeries. I had to find a surgeon to help perform my top surgery… Learning to fight for your healthcare is something that is desperately needed from us, the elders of this community…”


“As of right now there are 462 anti-LGBTQIA2S+ bills that have been presented. Out of 462, 296 of them roughly are directly targeting trans people, trans kids. There are bills being introduced that would force schools and teachers to out queer students to their parents, deadname them in the hallways, and the classrooms… It doesn’t matter that it’s not currently happening here in Washington, it matters that it’s happening at all. I have trans friends, we just lost the right to healthcare and HRT and they’re looking at different states to move to because they need to stay alive… I was lucky that after I came out as trans, my mom helped me brainstorm name ideas. And when I told her that I chose Lincoln, a name that she suggested, she cried and said ‘I’m so lucky that I got to name you twice’. There are so many trans people who do not have their family’s support, who don’t have support in school, and can’t find acceptance in a place of worship. They need to have safe spaces to go, they need to have a community to count on. They need to have someone who’ll stand up and say something when they’re being singled out, put in danger, misgendered, bullied, ostracized, targeted, that I will be that someone. We can be those people, we are fighting for every trans person who looks in the mirror and sees a stranger looking back at them, we are fighting for ever trans person who doesn’t feel correct in their own skin… We are fighting for not only the right to exist, but to thrive. We can not stop, we will not stop.”


“Unlike some transgender youth, I didn’t know I was gender fluid until about 15 or 16, but I knew something was wrong at about 11… I was growing and I didn’t like it… My mom told me everything would be fine and that I would grow into my body and be a beautiful woman one day. I hated that sentence. The idea of me growing up to be a woman didn’t feel right, but neither the idea of being a man. I hated it so much that I didn’t want to grow up at all. Years later I found a solution, gender is a social construct to decide to put people into boxes and I’m pretty sure that idea saved my life that I could go in between boxes… There’s so much violence against us right now and I’d just like to say that you deserve to be here, you deserve to be here now as a young person and you deserve to grow old and happy as you do… You deserve a support system blood-related or not, you deserve to live your life without having to explain gender, or sexuality, or your parts, and you shouldn’t ever have to fear your family, friends, or anyone you consider close enough to tell you’re trans, queer, or both.”