Today is the Trans Day of Visibility and so today your Trans and Non-Binary Officer, Sam Colson, has teamed up with the Liverpool Hope Students’ Union Transgender+ Officer, Jack Evans, to write a blog explaining why today is so important to trans people and offer Sam and Jack’s personal stories as members of the transgender community.
The 31st March 2021 marks Trans Day of Visibility (TDOV).
This is a day where members of the community and allies come together to celebrate and raise awareness of trans people and their lives. It is also a time to reflect on the discrimination faced by trans people, and fight for change.
The day was created in 2009 by activist Rachel Crandall, who wanted to create a day which could be dedicated to the contributions and achievements of transgender people.
At the time, the only major event focused on commemorating the life of trans people was transgender day of remembrance. Crandall wanted to change this.
It is important on TDOV to listen to and reflect on the stories which members of the trans community are sharing and speaking out on.
Being trans is not an easy thing, I have known all my life that I was different and didn’t fit in but it wasn’t until university and I started becoming friends with other trans people that I was able to explore my own identity truly in the safe university environment.
My gender identity is something I have struggled with, and still struggle with, to this day. Coming out as Non-Binary for me was an important step in my own identity as it took me away from an uncomfortable label of being “male,” and allowed me to express my truth which was that I didn’t feel definitively “male” or “female” at this stage in my life.
This has allowed me to explore my identity further to figure out if Non-Binary is the correct term or whether I feel more comfortable elsewhere on the gender spectrum.
Being able to live my life as an openly Non-Binary person is exactly why I feel the Trans Day of Visibility is so important, as the day allows me and every other trans person to feel visible in a world that can sometimes invalidate our entire existence.
My message to the trans community, especially those questioning their identity on this day is this: you are never alone.
Coming out is not an easy thing to do so while you should never be afraid to be who you are, if you feel unable to, don’t force yourself today to come out if you haven’t already and are not ready.
I spent years hiding my true self for the sake of other people. When I finally took the step to be authentically me, being visible as a trans person had a whole new meaning.
Personally, I feel the need to be visible now, to show others who were in the same position I was in once that it does get better, and things will change. When I was still figuring out my identity, trans people who had a big presence in the community really helped me to come to terms with who I am and made me realise that being your authentic self is the best way to be.
Now that I’m in a position where I am very comfortable with myself as a trans man, helping others and sharing my experiences is my way of giving back to the community and allowing me to be there for people like so many others were for me.
Being visible has also given me the confidence I need to join the fight for change in support of the trans community, which I am proud to do.
My message to the transgender community on trans day of visibility is that even if you don’t feel like you can express yourself today, one day you will, and the wait is worth it.
You can learn more about the Trans Day of Visibility here.
This blog was co-authored by Edge Hill Students’ Union’s Trans and Non-Binary Officer, Sam Colson, and Liverpool Hope SU’s Transgender+ Officer, Jack Evans.