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In-Depth: Why Transgender Day of Visibility is important

Posted at 5:57 PM, Mar 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-31 19:57:44-04

On March 31st, people around the world take the time to observe Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV).

It's to raise awareness about people who are trans and celebrate their lives, while also drawing attention to instances of poverty, discrimination, and violence that this community often faces.

To learn more about the significance of the day, where it originated, and what it can do for the community, Fox 13 News spoke with Sue Robbins, who serves on the Transgender Advisory Council of Equality Utah.

"We started off in 2009 with our first recognition day Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), which was to honor our dead. We had community members who were murdered, predominantly women of color, and we wanted to have a somber day to recognize that," said Robbins.

Rather than staying focused on the bad though, the transgender community felt they wanted to also celebrate who they are and what they've accomplished in life.

Robbins said, "It's a time to come out and be visible, for those of us that feel safe, to have what we call trans joy and to be in front of people so they can see who we are and see how amazing out community can be."

According to GLAAD, not many Americans say they personally know someone who’s transgender, so the vast majority of the public learns about trans people from the media.

"All these things you hear, the rhetoric and the narratives that go around these bills really isn't true and it kind of demonizes our community and we want you to see who we are and how wonderful we are," said Robbins.

The kinds of bills Sue is referring to are ones like the one passed by the Utah State Legislature to ban transgender children from participating in school sports.

Governor Spencer Cox vetoed the bill, but the the Utah State Legislature voted to override the governor's veto.

More than 200 anti-LGBTQ bills have been filed in 2022 so far, with over half of them specifically targeting trans people, particularly youth.

Robbins said, "A lot of people look at the transgender community as being political from one side or another [...] We are not political, we are just people like everybody else."

According to a 2022 Gallup poll, while only about 30% of the American public says they know a transgender person, that percentage varies by quite a bit when broken down by age.

An example of this is 19% of Americans over the age of 65 claim to know someone who is trans while half of Americans under the age of 30 do.

You can learn more about Transgender Day of Visibility at