By Jada Jinks | April 3, 2023
Photo Credit: Google Images
🏳️⚧️ March 31 is Trans Day of Visibility. The day was created in 2009 by Rachel Crandall-Crocker, a trans woman who faced discrimination for her identity. She lost her married partner and her job when she came out as transgender. Crocker had witnessed the violence against trans people, particularly trans women, when she attended Transgender Day of Remembrance events. She wanted a day where trans people and their lives could be celebrated, and visibly represented. Crocker created a Facebook post proposing that March 31st could be Trans Day of Visibility. She held her own event for that day in her hometown, and encouraged other people on Facebook to hold their own celebrations where they lived.
Eventually, the number of people who knew about Trans Day of Visibility and celebrated it, grew. Now, Trans Day of Visibility is a worldwide event, and many LGTBQ+ organizations hold events or celebrations on that day. After learning about this event, I was inspired to create a short piece about what my gender identity means to me, to hopefully increase trans visibility on campus. I am bigender, which is an identity under the trans and nonbinary umbrella. People who are bigender identify with two distinct gender identities, and I’ll be describing them in this article.
🟠 Orange stands for femme. Femme can be defined as either a form of gender expression or its own gender identity. Someone who is femme creates their own forms of femininity that resists expectations people try to enforce onto feminine people. At its core, femme is about the reclamation of femininity. As such, femme can be expressed in many ways. For me, femme can be expressed in the way I do my makeup. I do it mainly for fun, to make silly faces and giggle in the mirror, and then walk out my door with a passionate outlook. I bring the passion to the dance floor, conversations with my friends, and even just a day in the classroom. Femme can also be expressed with my confidence and the way I carry myself. I move with curiosity, boundless energy, and purpose in equal measures. Being femme helps me have a name for it. Finally, femme can be found in my heart: In the way I love my family and friends, in the warmth I feel around kind people, and in the way I face my past and my mistakes.
🟢 Green stands for neutrois. Neutrois can be defined as someone whose gender identity is neutral. This is different from agender, as someone who is neutrois still identifies with a gender. For me, neutrois is expressed in the way I do activism. When I think about activism, I think about forging alliances and creating a culture of belonging and respect for the common person; I think about meeting people where they're at. Neutrois is also expressed in the way I think about my Blackness. "Angry black woman, fat black girl, dangerous, thug," are all stereotypes that Black people face. This is one of our realities. I wield neutrois as a weapon and as a reminder to treat people beyond the labels society puts on them, to treat my life like it's my own, not like anyone else's. Finally, neutrois can be found in my future: the way I try to be mindful about everything I do, in the way I explore different paths, and in the way I push my own boundaries.
There are many resources available here on campus that strive to help students during and after Trans Day of Visibility. The biggest source of support is the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, directed by Courtney D’Allaird. The GSRC offers several programs about different identities under the trans umbrella, and they can make referrals to community based organizations. They also do advocacy work.
CAPS and Middle Earth are also available to make appointments to talk about any issues related to gender or sexuality. If you want to instead talk with a fellow student about gender and sexuality concerns, you can also call Middle Earth’s anonymous hotline, at 518-442-5777. Off campus, there’s the Trevor Project, GLAAD, Planned Parenthood, and the National Center for Transgender Equality.
Wishing everyone a happy Trans Day of Visibility!