Imagine a group of people shipwrecked and stranded on an island out at the deep sea. Searching for rescue these people will send out signals of distress such as flares, smoke from a fire, written signs in the sand and whatever else they can practically accomplish. Why? Visibility.
March 31 was Trans Visibility Day, a viral celebration of the entire transgender population. Trans individuals, meaning one whose gender and sex are inequivalent or who are nongender conforming, were invited to share their stories and their beautiful faces across social media sites like Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and even a few webpages created specifically for the celebration.
The results were huge; hundreds of thousands
of posts, notes, likes and shares lit up the social media sites like fireworks. Why? Visibility.
Trans members are shunned, turned away and faced with difficulties at every turn, to the point that they are often made to feel invisible. This happens even in the common areas of life that one might not think of. In shopping malls, and clothing stores, on advertisements and the like, gender is represented very dichotomously.
The body in which someone was born is for some reason viewed as the regulator for the clothes one ought to wear. Born one way results in pink and born the other way ends up in blue, and that’s how clothes get produced and marketed.
This can leave out trans members who want to wear something that is not produced in their size and fit because for some reason their size and fit isn’t thought to be dressed that way. It happens in common places that are meant to be safe for individuals, like doctor’s offices. When only given two boxes to check for gender,
how will trans patients feel comfortable checking a box that refers only to their genitalia and doesn’t bother asking about their mind or preference?
Worst of all, trans persons can be turned away from using a bathroom. In places with no unisex bathrooms, trans individuals can be forced to use the incorrect bathroom, or not allowed to use one at all. Simple human rights are being denied from people who don’t feel they fit into their preformed molds. There is clearly distress for this group, and it was time for an S.O.S.
Trans Visibility Day succeeded in providing insight for a whole 24 hours in a way that will not be forgotten. Members of our global community that are usually pushed into an invisible area were given the opportunity to be the center of attention worldwide. With this impact placed on the everlasting internet, it will be circulating for possibly years to come. The flare was shot into the sky, the fire has been made and the signs are in the sand. Hopefully now rescue is on its way.