31 March is International Transgender Day of Visibility. It is a day to celebrate the lives and achievements of transgender people across the world. It aims to increase trans equality and empower trans people to live their lives freely and confidently.
It began in 2009 and has grown rapidly each year since. Now thousands of trans people, their loved ones, families, friends, colleagues and allies take part in celebrating International Transgender Day of Visibility each year.
Throughout history, there have been people who didn’t identify with the sex they were assigned at birth. While the terminology they used to describe themselves has varied over the centuries, they have always existed and been visible in their local communities.
Trans activism didn’t start in just the last few years. Over the last century, trans people have fought for equality in a wide range of ways. Many trans people around the world have taken to the streets in protest against police harassment – most famously Sylvia Rivera at the Stonewall Riots in 1969.
Others have used the courts to push for legal rights. For example, in 1952, an upper class Scottish trans man, Sir Ewan Forbes of Craigievar, succeeded in getting his birth certificate changed from female to male. Unfortunately, the court records were made secret so April Ashley‘s lawyers were not able to access them during her divorce court case in 1970, which severely set back trans people’s access to legal gender recognition in the UK.
Here at Community Union, we fully support our trans members and know how important it is to recognise this date and celebrate their lives and achievements, and to empower our trans members to live their lives freely and confidently.
On behalf of Community, and on a personal note, I’d like to say to all transgender members, their loved ones, families, friends, colleagues and allies, have a great day of celebrations as you continue to mark a very important day in our society. Lots of wishes and support.
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