Trans Day of Visibility 2024: Reflections & A Call to Allies


As TwoSpirit, Trans, & Gender Diverse people, our relationships to Trans Day of Visibility (TDOV) are as varied and individual as our relationships to gender.

Visibility is often a double-edged sword for us—particularly those of us who are BIPOC, Disabled, Intersex, women and femmes, sex workers, and living at other marginalized intersections. At the same time, visibility can be a powerful way to show ourselves and our numbers, advocate for our lives, and see ourselves reflected in each others’ beauty and power.

Community organizer and journalist Prishita Maheshwari-Aplin also thinks of visibility as an opportunity—a crucial one–for Western communities to broaden our understandings of Trans identities on a global scale:

“[Visibility] helps us recognise and unlearn Eurocentric understanding of gender, to understand the long-lasting impacts of colonialism on citizens of post-colonial countries, and to challenge ongoing racial injustices worldwide. After all, trans and non-binary identities are not new or unique to any one demographic.”

– Prishita Maheshwari-Aplin for

Visibility brings with it the power to show what is possible for our lives and our communities—for better or for worse.

One of my favorite pieces of writing around Trans visibility is by beloved poet/comedian/speaker/actor Alok Vaid-Menon:

Beyond Trans Visibility


1) “Trans” “Visibility” is an oxymoron. Trans is who we are, not what we we look like. We shouldn’t have to look like anything in particular in order to be believed for who we are. Visibility often is a form of (nonconsensual) labor that we have to in order to make our experiences coherent to others.


2) Trans Visibility is a cis framework. Who are we becoming visible for? Why do we have to become visible in order to be taken seriously? Non-trans people will congratulate themselves for our visibility but will not mention how they are the ones were responsible for erasing us in the first place. The trans movement isn’t about trans people moving forward, it’s about cis people catching up with us.


3) Invisibility is not the problem, transmisogyny is the problem. Trans people are harassed precisely because we ARE visible. Mandating visibility increases violence against the most vulnerable among us. The same system that will require trans people to be visible will not give institutional support to us when we are harassed precisely because we are visible.


4) Visibility often means incorporation. Often the only way we are respected as “legitimately” trans is if we appeal to dominant norms of beauty, gender, race, and establishment politics. Trans people should not have to be patriotic, change what we wear, undergo medical or legal transition, really should not have to do anything in order to be respected. We were and already are enough.


5) Visibility is easy. Organizing is hard. Sharing photos of trans people and calling us “resilient” and “beautiful” does little to address the persecution so many of us face. We cannot love ourselves out of structural oppression alone. How come media visibility of trans people has not resulted in the funding and support of our organizations, campaigns, and struggles?


Let’s push harder and demand more.


– Alok Vaid-Menon

If you’re looking for a way to celebrate TDOV, be around Trans community, or you just like to laugh (or all three), here are a few community events that we’re looking forward to:


To our allies: Trans Day of Visibility is a great day to take action to materially support Trans people. One way to do this is to make a gift to help us continue our work to fight for and win policies that improve Trans livessupport Trans survivors with shelter and other necessities, and continue creating sacred spaces like Trans Pride Seattle