March 31st marks the International Transgender Day of Visibility. The day is about celebrating, honoring and empowering the lives of transgender and nonbinary people.
According to a recent Gallup poll, 11.3 percent of LGBTQ+ adults are transgender. Younger Americans are much more likely to belong to the LGBTQ+ community, too. Gallup estimates that growth will continue with future generations, too.
On this International Transgender Day of Visibility, we want the world to know that we love and embrace our children for who they are. We stand in solidarity with our children, our friends and our loved ones. We know this world is bigger and brighter because they have chosen to live their most authentic lives.
Still, we also know that visibility alone is not enough to protect our children.
There's a wave of anti-trans laws being enacted across the country right now. Specifically, 93 bills were introduced this legislative session that directly target transgender people. Four states have sent anti-trans bills to their governors.
The Arkansas Senate this week approved a ban on access to healthcare for transgender youth. The ACLU calls it "the most extreme anti-trans law to ever pass through a state legislature."
Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi have also enacted new laws that ban trans athletes from joining sports teams consistent with their gender identity. South Dakota's governor issued two executive orders to the same effect.
According to a study this month from the Williams Institute at University of California, Los Angeles, transgender people are more than four times more likely than cisgender people to experience violent victimization, including rape, sexual assault and aggravated or simple assault.
In 2020, at least 350 trans people were killed worldwide. This violence is disproportionately directed towards transfeminine people, especially trans women of color.
We bring up these laws and assaults because it's impossible to discuss the bravery with which our kids live their lives and not acknowledge what they're up against.
It takes courage to live visibly and authentically, especially when met with threats of violence or the loss of social and medical support.
If you have a loved one who is transgender, reach out to them today. Let them know that you support them, even if you think they already know. Be loud and generous with your support and love.
Today is about celebrating the trans community. Do that the best way you know how, mama: with love.