The Past and Future of Transgender Day of Visibility

From national center for lesbian rights

Transgender Day of Remembrance graphic

Transgender Day of Visibility (TDoV) is celebrated every year; this year the world will celebrate the day on Friday, March 31 but was first discovered in 2009 by Rachel Crandall-Crocker. The celebration is to raise awareness and voice the lives of trans and non-binary, nonconforming people who face a lot of discrimination because they do not follow the gender norms of society. TDoV acknowledges the accomplishments of trans people. This day also recognizes their resilience and bravery to bring attention to the violence and prejudice they are facing.

Photo of Rachel Crandall-Crocker who is the TDoV founder (From Transgender Michigan)


TDoV was founded by Rachel Crandall-Crocker, who became a transgender activist after her parents told her to hide this part of her. Rachel was 8-years-old when she had realized it was terrifying to come out as trans, especially because she grew up in Michigan. There are a lot of anti-trans and oppression laws making the lives of transgender and non-binary people feel unsafe and unsupported. So she made the decision to stay in the closet and hid who she really was.

However, as she got older, Rachel had started dressing up more feminine and leaving her house this way. She then came out again in 1994. In 1997, she founded Transgender Michigan because she wanted to make the world better for trans people. Then in 2009, her organization was recognized internationally when Rachel founded Transgender day of Visibility.

Before 2009 there was only Transgender Day of Remembrance, which was about honoring trans people who had passed. TDoV started as a facebook post, but because so many people loved the idea, it ended up spreading as far as becoming an international celebration.

Transgender Day of Remembrance graphic (From UW-Parkside)

TDoV 2021

On March 31st, 2021, President Joe Biden officially announced that TDoV was to be recognized. He also stated that he recognized the day is about celebrating the resilience and achievements of those who fall under the transgender umbrella. He also wanted to recognize the struggles they go through.

Ways to Celebrate TDoV

Learn Terminology.
It is important to learn the different trans terminology so you understand what you are saying. The terminology also changes from time to time, so keeping up with that is suggested.

Learn about trans history.
To get a better understanding of the challenges and achievements trans people had to go through to get where they are today. There are so many things that trans people are facing, doing a bit of research will get you more familiar with everything.

Go to local TDoV events.
There are Trans Day of Visibility events that happen all over the world, attending them and helping you gain an understanding of the people, history and many more things.

Knowing the difference between words.
Knowing the right definition for words is one of the most important things because you don’t want to be offensive with the things that you say.

Uplifting trans stories.
Uplifting the positive aspects of transgender people’s stories will really show who trans and non-binary people are. Even uplifting the negative ones that show trans people getting murdered will bring attention to it as well.

Respecting pronouns.
Learning the right pronouns to use for a person will make them feel less uncomfortable. It shows that you are willing to make an effort and that you care.

Create safe spaces for your trans friends.
Doing this will make your trans and non-binary friends feel more welcomed to hang around you because you’re making an effort.

Educate your friends about TDoV.
Educating yourself and friends about TDoV will help spread information about the challenges and achievements that trans and non-binary people face.