President Biden on Wednesday issued a historic proclamation declaring it the Transgender Day of Visibility, acknowledging the day promoting transgender rights and honoring the achievements and progress made by the transgender and gender non-binary community in the U.S.
The move marks a stark contrast to former President Trump, who sought to ban transgender service members in the military and refused to recognize Pride Month.
“Transgender Day of Visibility recognizes the generations of struggle, activism, and courage that have brought our country closer to full equality for transgender and gender non-binary people in the United States and around the world,” Biden said. “Their trailblazing work has given countless transgender individuals the bravery to live openly and authentically.”
The proclamation says that “in spite of our progress in advancing civil rights for LGBTQ+ Americans, too many transgender people — adults and youth alike — still face systemic barriers to freedom and equality.” It cites ongoing issues like homelessness – nearly one in three trans people experience homelessness, the proclamation states – discrimination, and violence against transgender women of color.
Biden also acknowledged the marginalization and discrimination members of the transgender community face. LGBTQ+ advocates are currently fighting a slew of legislation restricting the rights of transgender minors in sports and healthcare, including more than a dozen bills banning transgender kids from participating in school sports. Biden also specifically referenced grim statistics that underscore the higher rates of violence transgender people face.
Biden mentioned Dr. Rachel Levine’s confirmation as assistant secretary of health, calling her one of the “barrier-breaking public servants” who “proudly and openly serve their country.”
“NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 31, 2021, as Transgender Day of Visibility. I call upon all Americans to join in the fight for full equality for all transgender people.”
This is the first time that a U.S. president has recognized the Transgender Day of Visibility.
Transgender rights are human rights — and I’m calling on every American to join me in uplifting the worth and dignity of transgender Americans. Together, we can stamp out discrimination and deliver on our nation’s promise of freedom and equality for all. #TransDayofVisibility
— President Biden (@POTUS) March 31, 2021