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Celebrating Transgender Day of Visibility

by River Seiler on 2023-03-31T08:00:00-05:00 in U.S. History since 1877, U.S. History to 1877, World History | 0 Comments

Hi friends,

Transgender Day of Visibility celebrates the history and accomplishments of transgender and gender nonconforming people. Transgender Day of Visibility also raises awareness of trans issues.

What does it mean to be transgender?

(Graphic from GLSEN's Gender Terminology Discussion Guide).

"Trans" is an umbrella term for gender identities encompassing transgender, non-binary, and other gender non-conforming people. Transgender people have a gender identity that "is different from the sex assigned to them at birth" (GLSEN, Transgender and Non-Binary People FAQ). The word "transgender" is a relatively modern term, one that would not have been used throughout history. That said, "people who would fit under this definition have existed in every culture throughout recorded history" (GLSEN, Seven Things About Transgender People That You Didn't Know). 

You probably have transgender or non-binary people in your life, though you may not be aware of it. You can support transgender and non-binary people in quite a few ways. By educating yourself, sharing your pronouns, and supporting local transgender and non-binary organizations, you can become an ally to the transgender and non-binary people in your life.

To learn more about transgender and non-binary people, and about LGBTQIA+ people and the LGBTQIA+ community and history, check out the recommended reading below or visit GLSEN's Guide to Being an LGBTQ Ally.

What is the trans pride flag?

 (Image from Equality Main's History of the Pride Flag)

The trans pride flag is a pride flag used by transgender and non-binary people to identify themselves and show their joy, pride, and love for their gender identities and the community and history of transgender and non-binary people. 

The first pride flag was designed by Gilbert Baker, and flew over the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade in June 1978 (History of the Pride Flag). Since then, a variety of pride flags have been created to represent various L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.+ identities.

The first transgender pride flag was designed by Monica Helms in 1999. According to Equality Maine,  the colors of the flag were chosen to represent "the colors traditionally associated with girls and boys, and the white represents transitioning, neutral or undefined genders, and intersexuality" (History of the Pride Flag).

For more information on pride flags, check out Equality Maine's History of the Pride Flag, or our L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.+ Resources Page.

Famous Transgender People

You may have transgender or non-binary people in your life, but did you know there are quite a few famous transgender and non-binary people? How many of these transgender or non-binary celebrities do you know?

 (Photo of Sam Smith from this January 27 tweet by Sam Smith).

Sam Smith is a non-binary singer who uses they/them pronouns. For more on Sam Smith's identity, check out this piece by Daniela Avila for People Magazine.

 (Photo of Elliot Page from Elliot Page's IMDB Page). 

Elliot Page is a transgender actor who uses he/him and they/them pronouns. For more on Elliot Page's identity, check out his interview with The New York Times.



 (Photo of Laverne Cox from the Pennsylvania Conference for Women's 2021 Speaker announcement).




Laverne Cox is a transgender actor who uses she/her pronouns. For more on Laverne Cox, check out her interview with Teen Vogue.

 (Photo of Isis King from Isis King's IMDB Page).

Isis King is a transgender model and actress who uses she/her pronouns. She was the first transgender woman to compete on "America's Next Top Model". For more on Isis King's identity, check out her interview with Teen Vogue.

 (Photo of Jazz Jennings from this article by The Advocate).

Jazz Jennings is a transgender activist, reality star, and author who uses she/her pronouns. Her book, Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen discusses her gender identity and advocacy.

 (Photo of Kim Petras from this article by The Mirror). 

Kim Petras is a transgender singer who uses she/her pronouns. For more on Kim Petras' identity, check out her interview with Billboard.

 (Photo of Wendy Carlos from this article by Them).

Wendy Carlos is a transgender instrumentalist who uses she/they pronouns. She worked with Stanley Kubrick to create the soundtracks for the films A Clockwork Orange and The Shining. For more on Wendy Carlos' identity, check out her interview with Playboy.

Chicago Trans Visibility Pageant 2023

The Kehrein Center of the Arts is hosting a Trans Visibility Pageant on Friday, March 31 at 7:00pm. "Life is Work will host the second annual Chicago Trans Visibility Pageant, an artistic and advocacy event...commemorating the accomplishments of Chicagoland's Transgender, Queer, and non-Binary community leaders" (All Events). You can get tickets to the pageant on the All Events site.

Local Transgender and Non-Binary Organizations

The Center on Halsted has collected a list of transgender resources in the Chicago area. You can get involved directly with one of these organizations or with the programs and services that the Center on Halsted offers. Some of these community programs include movie nights, family events, talent shows, and more. Visit the Center on Halsted's events page to see what's coming up. You can also visit the Center on Halsted's Trans Resources page to learn more about how you can reach out.

Learn More

You can find book recommendations and more on our L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.+ Resources Libguide! Links to more book lists are included below:

Thanks for reading! We hope to see you in the Library again soon!

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