by Gabrielle Claiborne, CEO
Transformation Journeys Worldwide
Fact: Transgender people are 4x more likely to experience violence than cisgender people.
Fact: The average life expectancy of transgender women of color living in the Americas is 30-35.
I share these shocking statistics with you on International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) to make the point that not only on this special day, but every day, we need you—our cisgender allies—to be visible for us.
So, what are tangible acts of advocacy you can engage in to dismantle the cultural myths and mindsets that fuel violence against trans, gender nonconforming and non-binary (TGNCNB) people? Here are a few suggestions.
Invest the time to educate yourself about TGNCNB people. There are so many resources available today to support you in this endeavor, including the RESOURCES page on our website. Please don't rely solely on TGNCNB to educate you; over time, that becomes a heavy left. Help us carry that burden by doing your own work.
One of the best ways to remember what you’ve learned is to share it with someone else. So, share with people, in your personal and professional life, the things you’ve learned that can debunk common myths and misperceptions that people have about TGNCNB individuals. You can also advocate for having educational presentations in your workplace, for your social clubs and professional organizations, and in your spiritual communities. (Check out what we offer for each of these spaces.)
Sponsor a TGNCNB individual
There are multiple ways you can sponsor TGNCNB people, from financially supporting their legal name change, gender marker change and/or birth certificate amendment to recommending them for a promotion in their workplace.
Use Your Pronouns
Display your pronouns in your email signature, LinkedIn profile, Zoom profile, website bios and on your name badge. When everyone shares their pronouns, it becomes the norm, and keeps TGNCNB people from feeling like the odd person out and having to advocate for our own visibility. If you’re cisgender, remember that you probably have the privilege of having a name, gender expression and vocal register that match cultural assumptions about your gender identity; but not all of us have that. Thanks for sharing your pronouns to create greater equity for everyone.
Re-direct Offensive Comments
Pushback on offensive jokes and comments, whether you know you're in the presence of a TGNCNB individual or not. The reality is, you may not know you're in the presence of someone who’s gender diverse, or the parent or loved one of a TGNCNB person. When someone says something inappropriate, use it as an opportunity to create an educational moment. Say something like, “Speaking of trans people, I recently learned that…” and share something you know to be true. People are more inclined to hear what you have to say when it's shared as a learning moment and not as a reprimand.
Offer Financial Support
These are just a few of the ways you can be visible on this Transgender Day of Visibility. But please know there are 364 additional days of the year that you can show up for our community.
At the beginning of this blog I shared some staggering numbers with you. Will you help lessen the violence experienced by so many TGNCNB people? In many ways, our safety and well-being depend on your visibility.