Wednesday, March 31 is International Transgender Day of Visibility, a day dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of the discrimination the community faces worldwide.
The Human Rights Campaign says the day is a time to celebrate transgender and non-binary people around the globe and acknowledge the courage it takes to live their lives openly and authentically.
President Joe Biden issued a proclamation Wednesday, officially recognizing the day and urging all Americans to join in the fight for full equality for all transgender people.
In his statement, Biden mentioned that despite the progress that has been made in advancing the civil rights for LGBTQ+ Americans, many transgender people still face systemic barriers to freedom and equality.
“Transgender Americans of all ages face high rates of violence, harassment, and discrimination,” said Biden. “Nearly one in three transgender Americans have experienced homelessness at some point in life. Transgender Americans continue to face discrimination in employment, housing, health care, and public accommodations. The crisis of violence against transgender women, especially transgender women of color, is a stain on our nation's conscience.”
Biden also mentioned his support for the Equality Act, a bill that would provide federal civil rights protections on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity. It would also deliver legal protections for LGBTQ+ Americans in our housing, education, public services, and lending systems.
The day of visibility comes at a time when states legislatures around the country are passing laws that target transgender people, such as legislation that allows doctors to refuse to treat someone because of moral or religious objections, or bills that prohibit transgender athletes from participating in girls’ sports. In Arkansas, lawmakers have also approved a bill that would ban gender confirming treatments for minor, though the governor has not yet signed it into law.