International Trans Visibility Day was on Wednesday, March 31, a holiday created a decade ago by Rachell Crandall-Crocker.
As a trans woman, Crandall-Crocker saw the need for a day of representation for members of her community, so she made a Facebook post in 2009 that encouraged other trans individuals to celebrate with festivities in their respective hometowns. Today, the day is celebrated by thousands worldwide.
Unfortunately, this year’s holiday comes at a challenging time for the trans community.
On March 30, Arkansas legislators passed a bill that would bar healthcare access to trans minors. This prevents trans minors from accessing gender-affirming care, such as testosterone or estrogen shots and supplements.
This is the most aggressive anti-trans legislation passed by any state to date.
Nineteen days prior, Mississippi governor Tate Reeves signed a bill into law that forces students to participate on sports teams based on the biological sex assigned to them at birth. The bill swept through both houses of the Mississippi legislature with an overwhelming majority: 81-28 in the house and 34-9 in the senate.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union website, anti-trans legislation is pending in 23 states, including Illinois.
It’s a very difficult time for trans youth today. For every step our country takes forward, we always seem to take 10 steps back.
I can’t help but question: Don’t these states have something better to do than police trans bodies?
This vehement reaction against trans youth is rooted in bigotry, hate and religious intolerance. There is absolutely no need for these laws to be passed through. They contribute very little to our society, but they yield incredible harm to those they affect.
Ultimately, these laws aren’t put in place to benefit anyone. They were created with the sole intent to discriminate against trans individuals, and they’re working.
The situation, though dire, isn’t hopeless. You can always write to local legislators expressing your concern over these events, or donate to the ACLU’s civil liberty work as they try to establish a platform and attain justice for trans individuals.