Today, March 31st, is both Cesar Chavez Day and International Transgender Day of Visibility. These two fights are not so different, as far as this feminist activist is concerned. Cesar Chavez Day honors a man who fought for labor rights of Chican@ people, a people often made invisible by their labor. Transgender people’s plight is also often invisible. Both are the result of “mainstream” culture willfully turning away from any struggle for equality that is not their own.
Everyone’s freedom is tied up with everyone else’s and until every Latina/o and every transgender person, and every transgender Latina/o, is free, I am not free and neither are you. It is well understood by academics how making people invisible takes away their humanity and that is why the visibility of transgender people and undocumented workers is so vital to the struggle for freedom. Everyone’s story is important for making the quilt of American history. Everyone, including undocuqueers, have the right for their voice to be heard.
While discrimination against transgender folks sometimes makes the news, today, all over Facebook and from Canada to Venezuela to Jamaica to Myanmar the world is waking up to positive transgender visibility and images. Transgender history is our history, and without knowing our failures and shortcomings we will be doomed to repeat them. Below is GLAAD‘s brief history of transgender visibility in the United States.
- GLAAD adds transgender equality to its mission (tv.msnbc.com)