Today, the Human Rights Campaign honors International Transgender Day of Visibility. Held annually on March 31, International Transgender Day of Visibility is a time to celebrate transgender and non-binary people around the globe and acknowledge the determination it takes to live openly and authentically. Advocates also lift up the violence and discrimination that many transgender and non-binary people, especially trans women of color and Black trans women, still face.
In honor of Trans Day of Visibility, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and the LGBTQ Task Force are co-hosting a panel, “Fierce, Fabulous and Fighting for Our Lives: A Conversation with Transgender and Non-Binary Young People.” The panel, which features Josie Totah, Kate Sosin, Schuyler Bailar, Nico Craig, Ve’ondre Mitchell and Lala Shanks, will discuss the experiences of trans and non-binary young people, how they’re reacting to the news cycle and attacks on the trans community in statehouses across the country, and how to reach out to trans young people to come together as a community. Learn more here.
Earlier this week, on Monday and Tuesday, the Human Rights Campaign held our first-ever Trans Justice & Advocacy Summit, as a part of HRC’s Trans Justice Initiative. The Summit brought together advocates from across the country to learn from and connect with each other, as well as other local and national stakeholders committed to advancing justice. The Summit’s goal was to build ties between HRC, the community and local stakeholders who, together, can make a meaningful difference in the lives of transgender and non-binary people.
Even as we celebrate the visibility and resilience of transgender and non-binary people, we are also seeing numerous bills targeting LGBTQ people, especially transgender people, in statehouses across the country. There are so far 192 anti-LGBTQ bills under consideration in state legislatures across the country. Of those, 93 directly target transgender people, a record number for a single session since the Human Rights Campaign has been tracking legislation. In addition, anti-transgender bills have been sent to governors in four states.
These bills are not addressing any real problem, and they’re not being requested by constituents. Rather, this effort is being driven by national far-right organizations attempting to score political points by sowing fear and hate. What they fail to understand is that opposing equality is highly unpopular -- even among Trump voters -- and states that pass legislation that attacks our community will face severe economic, legal and reputational harm. In many cases, these legislative pushes are being prioritized above COVID-19 response and relief. This push comes as equality measures gain not only popular support but legislative momentum on the federal level, with the Biden Administration championing equality in early Executive Actions and Congress considering the Equality Act within the first 100 days of the new Administration.
Additionally, we face an epidemic of violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people, especially transgender women of color and Black trans women. HRC recorded 44 deaths of transgender and gender non-conforming people in 2020, more than in any year since we began tracking this violence in 2013. So far in 2021, HRC has recorded at least 12 deaths of transgender and non-binary people. In the pursuit of greater accuracy and respect, HRC offers guidelines for journalists and others who report on transgender and non-binary people. HRC, Media Matters and the Trans Journalists Association have also partnered on an FAQ for reporters writing about anti-trans violence.
In order to combat stigma against transgender and non-binary people and work toward the goal of cultivating acceptance, rejecting hate and ending stigma for everyone in the trans and gender non-conforming community, HRC has collaborated with WarnerMedia on a PSA campaign to lift up their voices and stories. Learn more and watch the PSAs here.
For more information about HRC’s transgender justice work, visit hrc.org/Transgender.
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