Statement on Trans Day of Visibility

March 31, 2023

CUASA Statement on Trans Day of Visibility

Today, on the International Trans Day of Visibility (TDOV), CUASA celebrates the lives and accomplishments of our trans, nonbinary, Two-Spirit, and gender diverse community. We denounce all attempts to deny trans visibility, recognizing that the safety and visibility of our trans community members, especially trans youth, is under threat right now. The very notion of “visibility” is fraught right now, given the that the environment we’re living in is not necessarily safe for trans people to be visible. Those who are visible are often targeted, harassed, and bullied, especially trans women and trans feminine people.

As anti-trans legislation sweeps the U.S. and the U.K., we are reminded that transphobic rhetoric and movements don’t stop at the border and are ramping on a global scale. While there may be the temptation to think that Canada is so much further ahead of other countries in terms of trans rights, Charlotte Dalwood warns otherwise, stating that “it is Canadian exceptionalism to think that Canada is exempt from anti-trans hate and discrimination. Transphobia is on the rise here, too…”. PFLAG Ontario states that “Right wing groups are copying the tactics of their US comrades.” According to Sean Boynton, “Canadian LGBTQ2 community members and advocates say the past year has been difficult and scary amid a notable rise in hate crimes, threats, and protests against drag queens and transgender people in particular”.

It’s crucial to stand firmly against trans-hate. We recognize that transphobia does not impact all trans people equally, and we acknowledge the specific danger it poses to trans youth, trans women and trans feminine people, Black trans people, Two-Spirit and Indigenous trans people, racialized trans people, disabled trans people, and those whose identities lie in the intersections of those categories and more. On this day, know that whether or not trans people choose to make themselves visible is a matter of safety, and for some, not being visible is a privilege that was never an option. Instead of placing the onus on trans people to be visible or not, let’s first work together to create a world where trans visibility is safe and celebrated.

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