Every year that Transgender Day of Visibility comes around, I am filled with contrary thoughts that rub uneasily up against one another. On the one hand, I am grateful for the opportunity to shine a light on the creativity and joyous, defiant spirit of the trans and gender diverse community in Australia and around the world.
On the other hand, I feel a creeping sense of dread about the day. Cue the inevitable debates in workplaces, cafés and every feral corner of the internet about the legitimacy of gender affirming-healthcare practices, access to toilets and whether lesbians face an existential peril from the triple threat of trans masculinity, non-binary identities and same-sex attracted trans women.
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Instead, I try and take care of myself. I don’t click on every article about the latest thing that J.K Rowling said. I try to limit the amount of news articles I consume about the hundreds of anti-transgender bills that are being debated and passed across the United States as I write.
Tomorrow is #TransDayofVisibility and truthfully, visibility without power and mobilization just leads to violence so let's get active today leading up to #TDOV. We got you covered at @Trans_Week and I am going to list the most urgent actions you can take NOW.
— Chase Strangio (@chasestrangio) March 30, 2022
I like to follow the plethora of humorous and devastatingly honest trans people I’ve found on twitter like that find the strength to laugh and keep fighting despite the emotional burden of days like Colby Gordon, Lindis Sloan and Chase Strangio .
Perhaps it should be "cis day of leaving trans people alone to live their best lives" instead? Or heck, let's go with year?
— Lindis Sloan (@LindiSloan) March 29, 2022
Some things that you might want to do to celebrate Trans Day of Visibility might include purchasing resources for your workplace to show solidarity throughout the year, donating to fundraisers or provide a shout out and support to the ongoing issues for trans people in custody. Perhaps most importantly, take some time to appreciate the contribution that the many trans and gender diverse people in your lives are already making in ways both big and small.
This year, I’ve been supported by Creative Brimbank to run a creative storytelling showcase for Trans Day of Visibility to highlight the unique viewpoints of people in our local area.
At 4pm today you can tune into hear Joy 94.9’s Anastasia Le, writer Vincent Silk and Asylum Seeker Resource Centre chef Tiff Tan share personal stories and historical research about Australian trans trailblazers like Roberta Perkins.
I’ll leave you with some reflections from the inimitable Vincent Silk: “Today, I want us to be seen, heard, and understood but I don’t want us to be exposed, misconstrued, dismissed or objectified. In this way, I think I want what everyone wants, most days. Visibility, audibility and legibility are odd gifts. Today, I’ll celebrate Trans Day of Visibility. I also wish to celebrate Trans Day of Privacy, Trans Day of Refusal, Trans Day of Mutability and Trans Day of feeling the sun on my skin.”
Join Trans Day of Visibility with Creative Brimbank
4pm to 5pm, 31 st March 2022 on Zoom
Sam Elkin is a writer and radio maker whose essays have been published in the Griffith Review, the Kill Your Darlings and Growing Up in Country Australia (Black Inc). In 2021, Sam received an Australian Society of Authors fellowship and was shortlisted for the Deborah Cass Prize. He is the host of the 3RRR radio show Queer View Mirror and is a co-editor of Nothing to Hide: Voices of Trans and Gender Diverse Australia (Allen & Unwin). Sam lives and works on unceded Wurundjeri land.