Blog: Celebrating the Transgender Day of Visibility 2022
By: Jordan Clark Marcichiw, ESPC Volunteer
Happy Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) to all transgender, two-spirited, non-gender conforming and non-binary folx!
Thursday, March 31, marks the thirteenth annual TDOV—a time to celebrate transgender people and the milestones and achievements of the trans community. It is also an important day for all Edmontonians and Albertans to come together to reflect, learn, and better understand the discrimination experienced by transgender people in our communities.
The past year has marked several celebratory moments for the transgender community:
- the Bank of Montreal’s introduction of Mastercard’s True Name Feature, offering the ability for trans people to use their true name on their credit card without a legal name change, 
- fYrefly in Schools, a new program created by a local trans woman to increase inclusion and safety in rural Albertan communities,  and
- the first transgender woman, Lia Thomas, to win an NCAA Division 1 swimming championship in the face of severe public scrutiny. 
Despite these hard-earned and well-deserved successes, trans people in Canada continue to experience significant discrimination and systemic oppression. Research shows that:
- 25% of trans people feel they were not given access to the gender-affirming care they required, 22% of trans people have been denied hormone therapy, and 15% have been denied gender affirming surgery. 
- 67% of trans people thought about suicide before transitioning, whereas 3% reported thinking about suicide after transitioning. 
- Compared to the general population, transgender and gender non-conforming people are seven times more likely to struggle with substance use, five times more likely to experience mental health concerns, and two times more likely to experience severe poverty and homelessness. 
These staggering numbers are a result of systemic inequality that continue to minimize and ignore the experiences and needs of trans people.
As aspiring allies, what can we do?
Allyship is an ongoing process.
It is our responsibility to continually educate ourselves to better understand the needs of trans people. Learn what these needs are (like access to gender-affirming health care and the usage of proper pronouns) and continually speak up to advocate for these needs. Be mindful and ensure we are advocating in a way that is meaningful and relevant to trans people, and educate ourselves on the intricacies of intersectionality  and how issues might affect trans people.
Support, amplify and learn from existing trans resources.
Some Edmonton-based resources  include:
- The AltView Foundation for Gender Variant and Sexual Minorities
- Comité francoqueer de l’ouest
- Edmonton 2 Spirit Society
- Edmonton Men’s Health Collective
- Fruit Loop Society of Alberta
- Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services
- The Landing
- The Pride Center of Edmonton
- Shades of Colour
Research and support policy changes that better address trans needs.
The resources mentioned above are great sources to learn about policy gaps and advocacy opportunities. The Enchanté Network, the University of Saskatchewan Social Innovation Lab, and the Community-Based Research Center are other great learning resources.
Celebrate Transgender Day of Visibility 2022!
The following events are occurring for TDOV 2022:
- Gender Pirates: A Trans Day of Visibility Celebration, hosted by the Queer Arts Festival/SUM gallery
- Transgender Day of Visibility 2022 Virtual Event, hosted by Trans Wellness Ontario
Celebrate with your trans friends, family members, neighbours, colleagues, and acquaintances!
Jordan Clark Marcichiw (she/her) is a social worker who is passionate about spreading knowledge and advocating for systems change for the betterment of all individuals. Her personal interests include hiking, kayaking, skiing, playing slopitch, reading, and adventuring with her pup. As a ciswoman, she is honoured to witness the strength, resiliency, and relentlessness of the trans community and trans allies as they fight for a safer, more equitable community in our province.
- Do Couto, S. (2022, March). True name: Credit card allows transgender, non-binary people to use preferred name. Global News. https://globalnews.ca/news/8684776/true-name-mastercard-transgender-non-binary-discrimination/
- Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services. (n.d.). fYrefly in Schools. University of Alberta. https://www.ualberta.ca/ismss/programs-and-services/fyrefly-in-schools.html
- Cooky, C. (2022, March). Lia Thomas’ NCAA Championship performance gives women sports a crucial opportunity. NBC News. https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/we-should-be-celebrating-lia-thomas-we-did-jackie-robinson-ncna1292521
- Community-based Research Center. (2021, October). Frontiers of queer & trans health advocacy. https://www.cbrc.net/frontiers_of_queer_trans_health_advocacy
- Center for Suicide Prevention, Mental Health Commission of Canada & Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention. (n.d.). Transgender people and suicide. https://www.suicideinfo.ca/resource/trans-fact-sheet/
- Elver, D. (2019, July). LGBTQ2S+ housing needs and challenges. Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation. https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/blog/2019-housing-observer/lgbtq2s-housing-needs-challenges
- Crenshaw, K. (1991). Mapping the margins: Intersectionality, identity politics, and violence against women of color. Stanford Law Review,43(6), 1241–1299.
- The Echante Network. (n.d.). Membership list. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1uwUCox84FwJslPhcR6vc02jVTh5E8ebipH7JMRsoX2E/edit#gid=0