Commentary

I created the biggest symbol of trans visibility. Here’s what today means to me.

Transgender flag being waved in a crowd
Photo: Shutterstock

Once more, Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) is upon us.  This is a very important day. Transgender people need to show that we are out here and part of the American population and that our lives matter.

With dozens of anti-trans youth bills being introduced in many state legislators, we have to show we aren’t going to be pushed around any longer.

Related: Here’s your complete list of LGBTQ holidays & commemorations

Sadly, we have become one of the last minority groups that haters feel it’s okay to discriminate against.  Their lives are meaningless without someone to hate.

In 1999, I created the transgender pride flag because I wanted to be visible. It was my symbol to show my pride. Little did I know that others would also want to use it for the same reason.

But don’t let the flag be the only visible symbol on TDOV.  You should also be visible on this day, and every day.  We cannot make any progress if we all hide in the closet.

We need to live our lives in the open if we are going to become fully equal in the world.  Every time you have someone get to know you, you chip away at the barrier which keeps us from being totally free.  It’s a long process, but one that will be well worth it.

When I first started in activism, I told people I wasn’t doing this for myself, but for the trans people who haven’t been born yet.  Well, they have now been born, grown into adults and are doing their own work to make us visible.

I am so proud of the young people out there and what they are accomplishing.  TDOV is where they shine.

Please don’t take TDOV for granted.  It is important and needed, especially in this day and age.  Many trans people of my generation are happy to see so many events on this day and the weeks before it.  It makes us feel we didn’t waste our time lobbying Congress and state legislators.

There is a lot that still needs to be done for us to be totally free.  Your participation is most needed.

Be there for our future.