Today marks the annual Transgender Day of Visibility, which occurs every year on March 31st. It’s a day that aims to celebrate members of the trans community and focuses on positive visibility to help combat bias. Yet it’s hard to be positive when we witness the current wave of anti-trans hate that is sweeping across the world.
According to the ACLU, in these first three months of 2023, more than 426 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced in state legislatures across the U.S. They’re targeting our health care, our speech, the clothes we wear, and in some cases, our very existence. At this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), a prominent, right-wing commentator told the crowd, “For the good of society…transgenderism must be eradicated from public life entirely”.
These words are chilling, and we need to fight back against this horrific rhetoric. However, on the Transgender Day of Visibility, the IATSE Pride Committee refuses to give these transphobes the attention they want. Instead, we choose to celebrate and uplift the positive stories of our trans kin.
Two of the most famous and influential trans women of colour, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, were part of the Stonewall Uprising in 1969. They, and others like them, are said to have kicked off the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement by finally standing up to the harassment and assaults.
In our industry, we have people like Elliott Page, who stars in the IATSE-shot “The Umbrella Academy”. He’s become one of the most visible transmasculine people in the world, and was the first trans man to appear on the cover of Time magazine. He came out in in an emotional letter in which he stated, “To all the trans people who deal with harassment, self-loathing, abuse and the threat of violence every day: I see you, I love you and I will do everything I can to change this world for the better.”
And, even with so many anti-trans bills being introduced, we have strong allies in the government. Nebraska State Senator Machaela Cavanaugh vowed to “burn the legislative session to the ground” over a bill that is seen as anti-trans. Although not trans herself, she has spent weeks filibustering every bill that has come up for debate to prevent LB574 from passing. “We are seeing legislatures attacking, targeting, dehumanizing, and demoralizing a specific population of people. If we don’t stand in the way, we may as well be joining the attack,” she has stated.
And she’s right. We need everyone to stand together, against the hate, to both uplift our trans kin, and to fight back against those who wish us harm. Using the power of our union, our voices, and our votes, we can make a difference.
Together we rise.
– The IATSE Pride Committee
Act now to protect trans lives. Go to this link to see action items in your state: https://www.tracktranslegislation.com/act-now