Transgender Day of Visibility is a day for celebration. I made the below video as a celebratory montage to this occasion with the secondary purpose of hopefully starting a critical conversation about how we as peers (transgender individuals and cis-gender allies alike) can move the conversation forward and take action that will make future Transgender Days of Visibility occasions for even greater celebration because we will have done the work to make sure our transgender siblings are living in a safer world.
I must give a TRIGGER WARNING that the video ends with a devastating statistic: 42% of American youth who identify as trans have report having attempted suicide by the age of 19 according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Normally it would not seem appropriate to mention such things in the context of a celebration, but after watching an IG live put on by The Trevor Project, I heard how what one of the Transgender guests was celebrating this year was "existing." As a black trans woman, this individual discussed how given that she is literally taking her life in her hands each time she walks out the door, it is simply the fact that she is still breathing when she returns home each evening that is a celebration for her. This combined with the above statistic made me feel that a discussion, action, and change in this area is obviously so long overdue, and I felt it was my duty this Transgender Day of Visibility to start that conversation here and now! So please watch the video and then please read the questions below that have been designed to help provide a framework to start this critical conversation (however please of course feel free to venture outside these questions and take the discussion where it should and must go to make true, immediately and lasting change!
I would like to use this video to spark a two pronged discussion: For Tran-identifying members of this community please use this time and space to celebrate you amazing existence and tell us what you love about being trans. Conversely please feel free to share your fears or tell us how we can best serve you as allies. 2. To the cis-gender members of this community, I ask that you think of one way you can honor this holiday in a way that will somehow either personally touch a transgender individual in your life in a positive way and/or that will somehow address the above mentioned statistic: a suicide rate that makes trans youth the population officially most lethally impacted by suicide, already the #2 cause of youth 10-34YO. On a larger scale, besides this one day a year, how can we provide our trans brothers and sisters with the peer-support they need (which also includes advocacy and bigger picture work), to change the above mentioned, unthinkable statistic.
NO MORE SILENCE, NOT ON OUR WATCH.
Please comment below with your thoughts!
*I wish to acknowledge up-front that I am cis-gender and recognize my privilege and potential blind spots and apologize in advance if that privilege has blinded me to anything in this post that is anything but helpful & supportive of the transgender community, please comment if so so that I may learn and improve to be a better ally and advocate! Please watch and enjoy the video, which again is meant to be a celebration of transgender pride and visibility.
Here's How to Sign-Up (Video Demo) So You Can Join the Conversation:
In order to participate in any of the interactive aspects of the website (the blog or forum discussions, the special interest groups, or attending events to name a few) one must sign up as a member: this is different than committing to being part of Friends For Life which you can decide later and is entirely optional. Signing-up is 100% free, takes about 1-2 minutes , and for those concerned about privacy/anonymity, you can even change your username to something non-identifying to maintain your privacy (this means the only people who will have any access to information about you is two people: the owners of Friends For Life LLC, Emma Aders (aka Siri Khalsa) and Jaikar Beasley, who would only view/engage your sign-up info for the singular purpose of attempting prevent self-injury or suicide if an instance occurs wherein one of our members is in imminent danger. On the sign-up page there is a link to a detailed explanation as to why we ask for certain sign-up details, how we are ensuring your privacy and protecting your information. If you have any further questions about signing-up check out our FAQ section on the homepage and check out the below video wherein we walk you through the 1-2 minute sign-up process and demonstrate a few things that may ultimately may help you better understand why it's overdue time to spend the next minute or two creating your account so you can jump right in, hopefully with this conversation!
FAQs Regarding Our Website, Becoming a Member, & Privacy Concerns:
If you find yourself a little uncertain about whether or not to create an account because you have some lingering questions about how the site works, how and why it's worthwhile to sign-up as a member (a process that is 100% free, takes 1-2 minuets and allows you to remain anonymous if you so choose), how we protect your data and privacy and the integrity of this safe space, or anything else, please check out the below video that covers FAQs and if we don't cover your question, please send us any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org!