Today is a day to celebrate what it means to be transgender in America.
Since 2009, March 31st has been known as International Transgender Day of Visibility, a day to be out. To be seen.
"We are not just an issue… We are people," says Raquel Willis, Trans activist, author and GLAAD partner who helped organize 465 feminist leaders to sign an open letter in support of Trans women.
"We are just constantly under attack right now, we have some of the worst legislative attacks being aimed at the community from states like Arkansas, Alabama, South Dakota and so many more," Willis said.
Rights for transgender people is one of the biggest social and political issues of our day.
From President Joe Biden lifting the military ban on transgender troops to the US Senate confirming Doctor Rachel Levine as Health and Human Services Secretary. Dr. Levine is a trans woman.
In New York state, Governor Andrew Cuomo recently repealed the "walking while trans" bill, while states across the country are navigating the issue of trans girls playing female sports.
Dawn Ennis is the managing editor of Outsports.com and a contributor to The Daily Beast.
"That’s why we have a day like today, to show that we do exist, that we do have the same rights as everyone else, to show ourselves. We also do it for those who won’t show themselves," says Ennis.
It's estimated there are 2 million trans-Americans.
Roughly 11 percent of LGBTQ youth, identifies as trans, yet too often, the media representation does not reflect that. It's why Hollywood stars like Elliot Page coming out, are so important, and why Transgender Day of Visibility matters.
"I’m a better person, parent, friend because I’m not hiding something essential about myself to the world," says Ennis.
Both Willis and Ennis believe the best way to be a good ally in the trans-right fight, is to show up and stand up when we see or hear injustice in action.
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