Uplift: Uplifting LGBTQ+ Experience Within and Beyond Unitarian Universalism

UPLIFT: Transgender Day of Visibility

Image Description: UUA rainbow chalice in the transgender pride colors of pink, blue, and white next to the word UPLIFT in rainbow colors. Underneath, text reads, “Transgender Day of Visibility Thursday, March 31st.”

By Adrian Ballou

Hello Beloveds,

Today is Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV). Founded by Rachel Crandall in 2009 as a way to celebrate trans people while we are still living, TDOV has been met with both joy and critique since it’s been popularized.

The increased attention to anti-trans legislation here in spring 2022 highlights this in many ways. Writer Lilah Sturges tweeted earlier this week, “Transgender Day of Visibility seems super unnecessary this year–they’re making laws against us all over the damn country. I’m pretty sure they spotted us.”

And it’s long been a conversation. Alok Vaid-Menon called for “Justice, not visibility” and to move “Beyond Trans Visibility” in 2017, saying, “Invisibility is not the problem, transmisogyny is the problem. Trans people are harassed precisely because we ARE visible. …It’s much easier to put women and trans people on a stage than it is to fund and support women and trans people, to pay for our healthcare, to pay for our car rides, to pay for our safety. …We cannot love ourselves out of structural oppression alone. How come media visibility of trans people has not resulted in the funding and support of our organizations, campaigns, and struggles?”

And: now more than ever, trans, nonbinary, intersex, and metagender communities need hope, material support, connection to community, and organizing. TDOV doesn’t capture reality for many trans people… and it’s an opportunity for connection and celebration for many as well.

Here at our Unitarian Universalist Association, we affirm the inherent worth and dignity of all trans, nonbinary, genderqueer, genderfluid, metagender, and/or intersex people, and many more who are targeted by these horrific laws. We care deeply about trans children and youth and we call for organizing that centers them and protects their rights.

On this TDOV, join us in moving from visibility to organizing for trans+ communities. Check out the resources below–we’re organizing here at the Unitarian Universalist Association to fight anti-trans laws and build community and connection for multigenerational trans/nonbinary+ people. We’ve been developing UU-specific resources on this topic as well as learning more about neo-Nazi strategizing from websites like Translash Media.

There is real fear and real danger, now more than ever–and there is also hope. And there are also things you can do right now to make a difference. 

Here are some resources if you or someone you love could use some additional support:

Looking forward to having you with us in whatever ways work best for you and your loved ones. We are here with you, we love you, and we are glad you are with us.
In faith,


Additional Resources

LGBTQ+ people face an existential threat as countless politicians are using fear and scapegoating as a weapon to incite hate for political advantage. Meanwhile, we see an unprecedented number of state bills seeking to regress our nation to an era where fear and persecution was the norm.

What has our UUA been working on in 2022 for trans/nonbinary rights?

In January, during our 30 Days of Love, we hosted a panel with E.N. Hill, Rev. KC Slack, Rev. Ranwa Hamammy, and Adrian Ballou to talk more about the links between anti-abortion and anti-trans legislation from a UU perspective. Watch the webinar  (it’s called “Cut from the Same Cloth: Anti-Trans and Anti-Abortion Movements and How to Fight Back”), and check out Side With Love’s week of gender and LGBTQIA+ justice resources.

In February, our Side with Love team received in-house political education focused on anti-trans rhetoric from Imara Jones, where we learned how the right is putting all their energy on anti-trans legislation… and how showing up for trans rights is about showing up for all of us. Learn more about this by checking out resources on Translash, like this episode on the attack on trans youth  from podcast The Anti-Trans Hate Machine.

Translash also recently kicked off media focused on trans and reproductive justice intersections with on-the-ground insight from Kierra Johnson, Oriaku Njoku, Dallas Ducar, Cazembe Murphy, and Imara Jones in a “Trans Bodies, Trans Choices” webinar. They also released a podcast episode on the topic, an Instagram Live session on trans people trying to conceive, and short films “My Abortion Saved My Life” and “I Didn’t Think I”d Make It.”

In March, we kicked off our collaboration with The Trevor Project to build power as UUs and fight back against anti-trans legislation. We held a webinar, Combating Anti-Trans Legislation 101 , with panelists Sam Ames, Rev. Erin Walter, and Rev. Lisa Garcia-Sampson, and Side With Love team members.

Additional UU resources for LGBTQIA+ community: