Transgender Day of Visibility or TDOV is a day to show your support for the trans community. TDOV started in 2010 and takes place every year on March 31. Whether you know a transgender person personally, or just want to show your support for people living as their true selves, TDOV is a chance to learn, accept and celebrate.
What does it mean to be Transgender/Trans?
Transgender/Trans: an umbrella term for people who do not identify with the gender they were assigned at birth (male, female, intersex). Gender Identity is someone’s personal sense of their own gender and where they identify on the gender spectrum of male and female. For Transgender people, the sex they were assigned at birth and their own internal gender identity may not always match up.
People used to use words like “tranny” to refer to transgender individuals. As times have evolved, it is now preferred to use words like transgender instead of transgendered, trans instead of tranny, or use words like genderqueer or gender non-conforming. If you are not sure what words to use, that’s ok. Your best bet is to be honest about your lack of knowledge and ask!
You may have heard someone ask something along the lines of “what are your preferred pronouns?” Pronouns are words like she, her, hers, him, he, his. People are often used to just using pronouns to describe someone without asking. However, it is becoming more popular to ask someone what their pronouns are. This allows everyone to be more comfortable being themselves! Some people are even choosing to use pronouns like they, them, theirs, or ze, zir, zirs. These allow someone to identify as neither male nor female. Once you know what pronouns someone prefers, stick with those when talking to or about that person.
Tips for Allies of Transgender People
- You can’t tell if someone is transgender just by looking
- Don’t make assumptions about a transgender person’s sexual orientation
- Don’t ask a transgender person what their “real name” is
- Respect the terminology a transgender person uses to describe their identity
- Don’t ask about a transgender person’s genitals, surgical status, or sex life
- Listen to Transgender people and support what they need to feel safe and empowered
How to Celebrate TDOV:
- Go to or plan an event!
Check out events in your area of plan an event! You could host an event on your high school campus or even just bring up information about trans rights with your friends.
- Learn the difference between gender identity, gender expression, sex assigned at birth, and sexuality
Not sure what they all mean? Check out the Gender Unicorn to learn more!
- Learn about trans inclusive terminology
Get more comfortable talking about trans rights by understanding the appropriate vocabulary.
- Speak up when someone says something transphobic!
Sometimes people think silence is a form of agreement. Use your voice and let people know they have said something offensive and that you don’t support those feelings.
- Show your support on social media
Share resources, stand up for trans rights, and use your voice on social media. You can use the hashtag #transthriving in honor of this year’s theme.
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This blog was reposted from TeenSource.org, a project of Essential Access Health. TeenSource.org is an online hub for comprehensive and teen-friendly information on birth control, STDs, relationships and teen’s rights to accessing sensitive services. The site features youth-developed blogs and videos, a clinic finder, a Condom Access Project and links to TeenSource social media where youth can stay updated on relevant sexual and reproductive health information and news.