International Day of Trans Visibility – a statement by GATE

31 March, 2016


Today, March 31st, Global Action for Trans* Equality (GATE) calls for collective and critical reflection as we honor the International Day of Trans Visibility.

Undoubtedly, individual and community visibility has been a key strategy to build trans* social and political movements. Visibility has played a central historical role in the ongoing work to transform our material and symbolic conditions of existence in the pursuit of social justice. In fact, the very recognition of our existence and affirmation of our full selves demands visibility every day. Nevertheless, trans visibility does not happen without risk: those who are visible are also  exposed to the very dynamics they are challenging – discrimination, oppression and violence. That’s why on this March 31st, GATE calls to:

  • End all forms of surveillance and control that use our visibility (real or perceived) to limit, prohibit, or impede access to public spaces, including school bathrooms.
  • Articulate the intersectional and often stigmatizing character of trans visibility, which disproportionately affects black and brown trans people; trans sex workers; trans migrants; trans people who survive in extreme poverty; and those who embody non binary identities, gender expressions, and bodies.
  • Ensure the real inclusion of those who may not be visible: Those who can not afford to be seen because they fear losing their job, their opportunity to study, their access medical treatment, their freedom due to the persecution and criminalization of trans identities, and the real and concrete fear of losing their lives.
  • Honor our scars, those invisible marks that too-often include sexual, family, social, and institutional violence; the normalizing interventions that embody trans people with intersex bodies; and our marks of vulnerability.
  • Repeal all laws requiring trans people to expose their bodies and histories to the medico-legal establishment in order to access legal recognition and gender affirming procedures.
  • Support the struggle of those who report violations of their human rights before institutions that deny the existence of trans people.
  • Resist the mainstream reduction of trans visibility to media consumption.
  • Celebrate the increasing visibility of trans movements around the world, and their tireless efforts towards emancipation and justice.

On this International Day of Trans Visibility, GATE also calls attention to the human rights of all children. Diverse bodies, identities, sexualities, and expressions must never justify the exposure, stigmatization, pathologization, institutionalization, or criminalization of infants, children, or adolescents.


In solidarity,

Mauro Cabral and Masen Davis