Trans Rights Are Human Rights

Trans Day of Visibility, March 31

Observed annually on March 31st, the world celebrates Trans Day of Visibility. This year it is even more important to stand up, speak out and center our conversations and community around our trans brothers and sisters.

2021 has already become a record year of anti-trans legislation across the country. More than 80 anti-trans and discriminatory bills have been introduced in 28 states with Arkansas and Tennessee being the latest to pass such hateful and dehumanizing laws. These efforts are being driven by national hate and anti-LGBTQ organizations attempting to score political points by sowing fear and hate. The same forces that drove previous anti-equality fights against marriage equality in the early 2000s by pushing copycat bills across state houses — hateful anti-LGBTQ organizations like the Heritage Foundation, Alliance Defending Freedom (which has been designated by Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group), and Eagle Forum.

The epidemic of violence against trans people, especially trans people of color, still rages in 2021 with 12 known trans people being the victims of murder this year, three just this past month. 44 trans people were murdered in 2020, the worst year on record for transphobic violence.

International Trans Day of Visibility was started in 2009 and now in 2021 it is more important than ever for the LGBTQ+ Community and our allies to support trans people and trans people of color in particular as they have historically supported the entire community. The queer liberation movement was built by trans people of color like Marsha P. Johnson and Miss Major Griffin-Gracy.

So today, share and show your support for our trans brothers and sisters. Center trans voices. Listen to their stories and traumas. And when trans rights are under attack, we stand up and fight back.

Jim Sheppard is a resident of Downtown Pittsburgh. Jim served as a Commissioner on the City of Pittsburgh Human Relations Commission which investigates instances of discrimination in the City of Pittsburgh and recommends necessary protections in our City Code to provide all people in Pittsburgh with equal opportunities. He has worked for Pittsburgh City Council, the Pittsburgh Mayor, and the Allegheny County Controller. For five years he was the President of the Steel City Stonewall Democrats. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. (He / Him / His)