As an out and proud trans woman—and member of Larkin Street’s C-suite leadership team—I invite you to join me and the staff of Larkin Street in celebrating the 12th International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDoV) on Wednesday, March 31.
Founded twelve years ago to celebrate the resiliency and achievements of our diverse community, TDoV has since been spearheaded mainly by youth and grassroots student organizations across the country.
It is a day for us to honor our rich history as a people going back as far as recorded time. We celebrate the over 2 million Americans today—more than the combined populations of Alaska, Wyoming, and Vermont—living their authentic lives. We applaud the growing number of trans and non-binary actors in Hollywood and the number of elected public officials who have stepped into leadership roles across the country.
Unfortunately, with such increased visibility has also come an increased backlash. In less than three months in 2021 so far, over 80 anti-transgender bills have already been introduced in state legislative sessions, surpassing last year’s record-breaking total of 79.
These coordinated attempts to deny and erase our lives are one reason one out of every two trans people has experienced homelessness. We see this reflected every day in the disproportionally high number of trans and non-binary youth accessing Larkin Street’s services.
This is why we must continue to center the lives of those youth most impacted by homelessness. Because if we build a world that meets the needs of trans and non-binary youth, particularly those of color, by default we will have also created a world that honors all young people.
For more information about TDoV and ways you can support trans youth, please check out this resource page created by GLSEN. If you are trans or non-binary and looking for support in the Bay Area, the Office of Transgender Initiatives maintains an excellent resource list. If you are a youth experiencing or at risk of homelessness, we are here for you, too!