The transgender community has made some progress in recent years, but there is still a long way to go. As wonderful as it is to have a day of visibility, knowing that there is a day of the year where all the trans community is asking for is to be seen should be a sign of how much further we all have to go.
Visibility is indeed growing, but the danger of simply existing and being trans at the same time is still very real. The data might have updated recently, but as of ten years ago the average time between a trans murder was three days.
Laverne Cox, arguably the most visible trans person that isn’t related to a certain “E!” family, has done many interviews and appearances as she’s become more successful. And as trans rights and visibility grows she makes more appearances in support of her brothers and sisters. But more than once during an interview she’s basically had to ask either her interviewer or a rival interviewee to stop talking about trans sexy bits.
We’re not there yet, but there is some progress in visibility. Alex Newell was Unique on Glee. The aforementioned Cox is both Sophia Burset on Orange is the New Black and Cameron Wirth in Doubt. Jamie Clayton is Nomi Marks on Sense8. There are also a handful of films that have a trans character, some even played by trans actors, so the progress is happening.
To close on an optimistic note I’d like to share a video that GLAAD put together over on their instragram. “Visibility is a collective thing,” Says Jacob Tobia. “We’ve gotta support each other.”