Celebrating Trans Lives | International Transgender Day of Visibility 2022
March 31st marks the International Transgender Day of Visibility, a date dedicated to celebrating the victories of the transgender community. It is also a day of resistance and a reminder of the many challenges still faced by the transgender community.
This article will tell you a bit more about the story behind this day and will talk about the transgender movement from a local perspective, recognising the resilience and accomplishments of the trans community in Ireland.
Why March 31st?
This day was founded in 2009, only 13 years ago, by a psychotherapist and transgender activist Rachel Crandall. She lost a marriage and her job in psychotherapy when she transitioned.
Rachel was tired of the awful discrimination and oppression faced by the community in almost every aspect of their lives. She wanted to create a day where trans people could come together, celebrate their existence and remember those who lost their lives only for trying to be their true selves.
In interviews, Crandall highlights the fact that, before the Transgender Day of Visibility, there was no trans-centric date to celebrate the existence of trans people, only to honour the victims of transphobia. If you think closely, this has caused a huge impact on trans youth, as they might grow up thinking that being trans equals a life without hope.
In 2014, the day was acknowledged by activists in Ireland and Scotland. In 2015, the event went bigger, and many trans people and other members of the LGBTQIA+ community joined the movement and showed their support on social media.
Today, people around the world gather to celebrate transgender people and we can find many events, community gatherings and support from the main LGBTQIA+ organisations.
The Transgender Community in Ireland
Even though we have a long way to go, there has been more visibility for transgender people in Ireland in the last few years.
In 2015, Ireland was the fourth state in the world to give citizens the right to change their gender designation on official governments through self-determinations.
The community has been growing and gaining support, thanks to Irish trans activists who have been fighting for the trans community in the country. Here we will show you some of the names who were game-changers in the Irish LGBTQIA+ scene.
Dr Lydia Foy is a pioneer for trans rights in Ireland. Since 1997 she was fighting the Irish system to change her gender on her birth certification. In 2002, Lydia applied to the High Court and she fought for over two decades until she got recognition. Her case led the Irish Government to introduce gender recognition legislation.
Aoife is the first trans person to transition globally in her workplace and she is now one of the main names in the trans community in Ireland.
Louise was the first Irish trans woman to prosecute her employer over gender discrimination, which gave hope to many trans people in Ireland.
Sam is a member of the trans community and the Irish traveller community. He is the National Membership and Campaigns Officer with the Irish Traveller Movement and previously held the position of National Development Officer and then Policy and Research Officer in TENI for many years. During his time in TENI, he supported the establishment of Trans Kerry and the Gorey Trans Peer Support Group.
It is important to remember that the lives of transgender people should not only be celebrated for one day. They deserve our recognition and support all year long. All trans people in Ireland are history makers. You are survivors, beautiful and worth it.
Happy Transgender Day of Visibility!