I’ve been thinking of starting this blog for a while and decided today is a good day - representing both a beginning and ending. It is the last day of March 2022 and the end of Social Work month. It is the first day of this blog and the first time I have ever created a blog (bear with me!)
Today is also Transgender Day of Visibility (#TDOV) - a day to celebrate transgender and non-binary people and their contribution to society, to raise awareness for the hate and discrimination that still exists against trans and non-binary people, and to stand as allies and say “I see you” and “You are enough.”
This topic stood out for me this morning and I felt the need to honor the transgender community today. Growing up, I was aware of the existence of the LGBTQ+ community, but it wasn’t a part of my daily life (no one in my early life openly acknowledged being LGBTQ+.) It wasn’t until early adulthood that I had friends that I could say for certain identified as LGBTQ+.
Things have certainly improved since then. I have two teenagers and I know they both have friends who identify as LGBTQ+, and specifically identify as transgender. I am grateful that both of my children acknowledge this as “normal” and don’t have any qualms about the gender identity or sexual orientation of their friends. My oldest child has even criticized me for making it a “big deal” by expressing my pride in their inclusiveness with their friends.
I am torn because I want gender fluidity to be normalized and I don’t want gender identity or sexual orientation to be a “big deal”. That being said, there also has to be a balance between acceptance and awareness. My clients will recognize this, as balance is a very big part of what I bring to therapy. I would love it if the status of one’s sexuality and gender identity was a matter of course, but there is still too much hate and discrimination against the transgender and non-binary community. So I will continue to seek that balance. I will continue to advocate, but also accept.
If you are an ally like me, and wondering what you can do to support the transgender community, try one or more of the following:
Educate yourself on what it means to be transgender here.
Learn about famous trans people (and LGBTQ+ people in general) who have made contributions to our science, arts, politics, etc. Here is a good place to start.
Learn about transgender/LGBTQ+ policies at your work and advocate for changes such as all-gender bathrooms or equality in benefits with HR. See the Human Rights Campaign’s report on inclusive employers in the HRC 2022 Corporate Equality Index.
Read a book about what it means to be transgender. Or read a novel written by a transgender person. Learn about and support art, movies, and other media produced by transgender people.
Above all, remember that we are all human. We all love, hope, fear, suffer, mourn, and celebrate. Please help me celebrate our transgender community members today. I hope you thrive and know that I See You and #YouAreEnough .