March 31st is the annual Transgender Day of Visibility and I think that it’s more important to celebrate it this year than ever.
If you don’t already know, here is an easy peasy infographic to tell you why:
I would be very interested in hearing how the experiences described in that picture compare with the experiences of transgender individuals in the UK. I would hate to think that things are as bad here, especially since, according to the Independent, the number of British people who wish to change their gender has soared.
I should say that ‘wish’ is the wrong word there. It should be ‘need’ and nobody should suffer for wanting to live their lives truly and honestly as themselves.
One person who was brave enough to do this is Caroline Paige.
Caroline’s story in her own words is well worth a read – you can find it here – but here is her comment about TDOV:
Visibility was important, but it wasn’t enough, people still needed to understand. I volunteered my story publicly, revealing the good and the bad, and people listened, they understood, they appreciated being given the awareness and opportunity to respect difference. The military evolved, in fact it became a leader in diversity and inclusion, a safer place to be openly transgender, or gay, or just different. This is the power of visibility and revealing lived experience, the power of seeing, of understanding, of change. This is the purpose of TDOV.
The courage, the absolute bravery, of both Caroline and the people I see every day on facebook or Twitter, people who have made the decision to live their lives as they should be lived, is inspiring and heartwarming. And I offer them all my love and support in my small sheepish way.