In the wake of transphobic sentiments escalating in Canada, as well as bills and laws targeting transgender civil rights in the United Sates and United Kingdom, please join us on March 31st in commemorating Transgender Day of Visibility. This is an opportunity to uplift trans communities, reflect on our own bias, and advance awareness about the challenges they face. We must remember that transgender health is an essential aspect of public health. It is impossible for us to achieve overall well-being if marginalized communities continue to suffer from a higher likelihood of illness and harm, in addition to facing barriers in accessing healthcare.
As a school, we have a responsibility to research and produce information that can guide public discourse and help people understand that prioritizing human dignity is fundamental in public health. We also have the opportunity to educate and prepare our students as future leaders and practitioners, ensuring that they are aware and informed of the evolving conversations around social, economic, and cultural factors that impact population health. Lastly, we must hold ourselves accountable in advocating for our transgender communities by reflecting on our own bias and practicing allyship with empathy and care. Below are some suggestions of how you can participate and honour Transgender Day of Visibility:
- Keep learning: spend some time online learning something new about trans history, people and communities.
- Keep up to date, read up on resources such as 2SLGBTQIA+ Health, and check out stories from trans and non-binary folks.
- Consider reading a trans-focused book. Check out this list from the UBC library.
- Share this ‘Get Help’ page within your network – you never know who might be in need of immediate help.
- Consider donating your time or money to organizations focused on supporting 2SLGBTQA+ communities.
- Highlight gender-neutral pronouns and realities by researching and being mindful of assuming someone’s gender identity.
- Call or connect with a trans or non-binary person in your circle and let them know how much you value them.
- Tune in for events in your community and at UBC!
Recognizing the significance of Transgender Day of Visibility is incredibly important in light of the numerous challenges faced by transgender communities today, and a crucial aspect of building inclusive environments is promoting visibility and empowering transgender individuals. Let’s honour the day by taking the opportunity to celebrate the diversity, richness, and value that trans and gender-diverse folks bring into our communities just by being themselves.