VISIBLE – A Celebration of Trans of Visibility!

Quick escape link leading to Weather Network websiteQuick Escape text reads "VISIBLE - a celebration of Trans Visibility!" and YWCA Hamilton logo on background of Trans flag colours

A collective of community-serving organizations and community members is bringing transgender people together for Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31st!

Every year trans-community serving organizations in Hamilton observe Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) on November 20th. TDOR honours the memory of transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.

Gathering for TDOR is a beautiful, powerful and important tradition. But we must also find moments to celebrate the lives and contributions of trans people in our community.

International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) occurs every year on March 31st. This day is dedicated to celebrating transgender people, their contributions to society and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide.

The day was founded by US transgender activist Rachel Crandall of Michigan in 2009 as a reaction to the lack of recognition of transgender people, and citing the frustration that the only well-known transgender-centered day was the Transgender Day of Remembrance which mourned the murders of transgender people, but did not acknowledge and celebrate living members of the transgender community.

On this March 3st, Speqtrum, SACHA, and Compass Community Health Centre along with some amazing community members will host a day full of community building, empowerment, and a celebration of trans joy at Visible: A Trans Day of Visibility Celebration!

The Road to Visible

Discussing the significance of TDOV and the importance of visibility for the Trans community, Rae Lock, the 2SLGBTQIA+ Activities Coordinator at Speqtrum, highlights, “Many of Speqtrum’s clientele are newcomers and community members who might have faced discrimination based on their identity. We have a responsibility towards them. It has not always been safe to visible, but we have to do it.”

Rae shares that a community members approached them to ask if Speqtrum had any events planned for TDOV. While Rae did not have an answer then, they recognized that there is a need for events and celebrations that focus on Trans visibility. Rae thought, “We could do something.” And the idea for Visible was born.

With the community member, along with community partners, the collective discussed what visibility and empowering visibility would look like. Speqtrum then brought the community together to bring Visible to life.

Rae wishes that with this event, Trans folks feel more empowered to be visible and most importantly, are able to find strength in their community. Rae emphasizes that “it is vital to celebrate Trans visibility now, so we don’t lose more lives to transphobia and violence.”

Visible is a free event and includes an empowerment workshop for members of the Trans community. Hair and makeup artists from the Makeup and Media for Creative Arts program at Sheridan College have graciously offered their time and resources. Participants will have the opportunity to get styled while learning tips to recreate exciting looks at home. Alongside the makeovers, Goodwill Niagara has generously sponsored The Open Wardrobe! Attendees will have the chance to find gender-affirming outfits and truly be visible at the Gala!

To end the night off, there will also be a Trans Community Variety Show where members and attendees are able to share their music, poetry, art, perform comedy, and more! Attendees will also enjoy refreshments during the show.

A heartfelt thank you to all the sponsors, donors, partners, volunteers, and community members who are making this event possible. Your support is positively impacting the Trans community in Hamilton.

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