Honoring transgender voices on March 31

Honoring transgender voices on March 31

Queer advocates and allies are honoring Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31 and taking the time to celebrate the lives and triumphs of trans people, while also speaking out against the hate faced by the trans community on a daily basis. With hundreds of anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced across the country in 2024, this day is especially crucial this year. 

Pierce College does a strong job of supporting queer students, including by offering several LGBTQ+ support services. The country as a whole has a long way to go, however. 

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, 479 anti-LGTBQ+ bills have been introduced in more than 30 states in the first three months of this year alone. The aims of some of these bills include banning gender-affirming care for minors, revoking the rights of transgender people from updating their gender on IDs and driver’s licenses and banning transgender people from using bathrooms that match their gender identity, according to USA Today.

These types of bills legitimize transphobia and are the antithesis of what legislators should focus on. When trans people are alienated, attacked and discriminated against, their lives can be altered or even ended. Just last month, nonbinary teen Nex Benedict died in what was ruled a suicide by the Oklahoma state medical examiner, the Associated Press reported. Benedict had faced bullying at school.

Benedict should still be here today. So should the many other queer young people who have died in recent years. 

Even in these difficult times for the queer community, Transgender Day of Visibility is also a day of hope and celebration of the plethora of contributions trans people have made to society. From Marsha P. Johnson, a Black transgender activist, to Dr. Rachel Levine, the U.S. assistant secretary of health and the first openly transgender Senate-confirmed federal official, transgender people make significant impacts, and it’s important to recognize them. 

Trans people are people. They are students, teachers and Pierce community members. As a college and as a country, we must show trans people the love, support and acceptance that they and all people deserve. 

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