Celebrate Trans Visibility!
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Everyone has a deep-rooted sense of their own gender. For most people, their gender identity will match the sex recorded on their birth certificate when they were born. But for some, their assigned sex isn’t true to who they really are. This is often referred to as being trans or transgender. It can also have other names, often with deep cultural and historical roots, such as hijra, third gender, two-spirit, travesti, fa’afafine, transpinay, transpinoy, muxe, waria and meti.
There’s nothing wrong with being trans: it’s simply a part of the rich diversity of human nature. Trans people are a vital part of communities and cultures, as they have been throughout history. Nevertheless, in a world where many people harbor negative views and awareness of trans issues is limited, trans people often face hostility, discrimination and violence – simply for being who they are.
Trans people are much more likely to be bullied, assaulted and murdered than other people. Inflammatory media coverage and rhetoric from political and community leaders make already-hostile environments even worse. This hostility towards trans people is often even codified into laws that bar trans people from exercising basic rights.
For example, in most countries, it’s impossible for trans people to have their gender identity recognized on official identity documents such as passports and drivers’ licenses. In the relatively few places where it is permitted, it often comes with terrible preconditions, such as sterilization and forced divorce. Without proper identity documents, trans people are excluded from many every day activities – from opening a bank account, and applying for a job, to renting a home or traveling to another country.
Living life openly as your true self is something most people take for granted. For trans people this can be very dangerous. Living authentically – simply being visible – takes an enormous amount of courage. But with the increased visibility of trans people in our communities, the media and public life, comes awareness and changing attitudes – which is key to securing trans people’s fundamental rights.
It’s time to stop vilifying those who are different from ourselves. It’s time to stand up for the rights of the trans community. It’s time to celebrate trans visibility!
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How you can stand up for the trans community
How governments can create trans inclusive societies:
Learn more in our factsheet: