We aren’t going anywhere

It’s international Transgender Day of Visibility today. It’s a day meant to raise awareness of the discrimination trans people face, and to celebrate their contributions to society.

Some people react to days like this with scorn, especially now: don’t we have more important things to worry about? And that’s exactly why days like this exist.

In India, a poster campaign is telling people that Coronavirus is spread by trans people. In America, Republican legislators in multiple states have used the pandemic to rush through legislation that discriminates against trans people while making no efforts to protect people from the genuine threat of Covid-19. And here in the UK, the newspapers continue to lie and scaremonger about us and bigots continue to abuse trans people online – in some cases, bullying trans women self-isolating with coronavirus by wishing them and their loved ones dead – and anti-trans groups continue to fundraise and campaign for the right to discriminate against us rather than use their five-figure war chests to help the vulnerable women they claim to represent.

The title of this post is a sour joke: we’re having a day of visibility when most of us are stuck at home. But even if it’s just online, visibility matters: one of the bigots’ best weapons is the fact that there are relatively few of us, so it’s easy for them to portray us as some sinister “other” instead of the reality: we’re sons and daughters, mums and dads, brothers and sisters, friends and colleagues. The more visible we are, the more people will see through the bigots’ bullshit.