On the International Transgender Day of Visibility, it’s important for us to remember and honor those who live life fearlessly as their complete selves.

By Cy White, Photo by Lena Balk on Unsplash

Days like today make me reflective. They remind me of how blessed I am that those whom I love most are still around for me to tell them as much. But today I also feel deep sadness for those whose loved ones are no longer with us. All because of who they are and their audacity to live fearlessly.

Today is the International Transgender Day of Visibility. My cousin is a trans-straight man. I held him as a baby. Stood by him when he first came out as a lesbian, then embraced who he is and came out as transgender. I’m able to call him on the phone, laugh with him. He calls me when he needs me. I get to hear him say “I love you” before he hangs up the phone. As I said…blessed

There are so many people who are no longer afforded these same blessings. Many men and women who live their lives without fear and suffer the consequences for it. Transgender Day of Visibility affords folx like my cousin the right to proclaim, “I am here!” But It’s also a moment to revere those who came before them. Trans-men and women who have paved a way for generations after them to fear less and shout more.

I Honor You

Today, I honor my cousin. I honor women like Marsha P. Johnson, a warrior of the Stonewall riots. Honor Sylvia Rivera, another hero of queer rights who with Johnson established activist organization the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR) and opened shelters for queer homeless youth. I give love to modern queens who live boldly and out in the open: Laverne Cox, Isis King, Valentina Sampaio, Janet Mock. Fighters for the movement, some of them in our city of Austin: Monica Roberts, Danielle Skidmore, Claire Bow, Vanessa Warri.

There are other names. Those who for far too long were shrouded in silence. The number of transwomen (particularly transwomen of color) murdered for the sin of being who they are continues to climb. Though Transgender Day of Remembrance isn’t until Nov. 20, these women deserve recognition. They, too, deserve visibility: Monica Loera, Dominique Jackson, Dominque “Rem’mie” Fells. Thousands more.

As a cis-woman, I refuse to speak over transwomen. But know that I am with you all. I revere you and honor you. On this day, know you are seen and you are loved.

To show support on the International Transgender Day of Visibility, visit the Human Rights Campaign website. You can also support organizations like SAFE Alliance, Out Youth and allgo.


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