Celebrities, politicians, advocacy groups and social media users around the world have been raising awareness around transgender issues on Sunday for the annual Trans Day of Visibility
Among the thousands of messages on the hashtag #TransDayofVisibility, LGBT equality charity Stonewall shared a blog post by Carolyn Mercer, a former secondary school headteacher turned LGBT activist.
She wrote about the daily attacks on trans identities and encouraged people everywhere to “read about trans people’s experiences, challenge transphobia when you hear it and show support to your trans friends and families”.
Stonewall estimates one per cent of the UK population, or roughly 600,000 people, identify as trans or non-binary, meaning their gender identity or expression does not match the one they were assigned at birth.
Thousands of people shared their experiences and words of support across social media.
Christina Grimwade, a trans mother from Essex, shared a picture of herself and her son, adding: “Here I am being visible on #TDOV . Being a mum to my kids on #MothersDay.
“Hopefully I’m the positive role model I didnt have for at least one trans person that sees me today.”
And Ryan, who said he has been trans for seven years, also shared pictures.
He said: “This year marks 7 years I’ve been out as trans; I’m so proud of who I am, how far I’ve come and the community I’m part of.
“We still have so much further to go, our very existence is a debate, so it’s time to be loud and be proud on #TransDayOfVisibility.”
In the US, writer and speaker Jamie Bruesehoff shared a picture of her daughter Rebekah, writing: “While Rebekah sometimes does do public advocacy that makes her very visible, she also shows up every day at home, at church, at school, at dance, at practice, and in her community just being herself.
“Just by being herself, she reminds folks that transgender kids are here and they are kids just like any other … with passions, interests, struggles, successes, failures, and all of the rest.”
Public figures also gave their support.
Apple chief executive Tim Cook tweeted: “The trans community at Apple makes us stronger and more vibrant.
“On this #TransDayOfVisibility, we’re grateful to all who live their truths and bring their authentic selves to work.”
And Labour MP Dawn Butler wrote: “Today is #TransDayofVisibility and I am proud to join other parliamentarians in this cross-party statement of support for the trans community.
“To all of our trans constituents, friends, colleagues and family, we stand in solidarity with you.”
Lib Dem MP Layla Moran, peer Brian Paddick, and Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas also shared the cross-party statement on Twitter, and London Mayor Sadiq Khan shared a message of support on his @MayorofLondon account.
The official account for UN Women tweeted a reminder of the first article in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adding: “On #TransVisibilityDay, join us in advocating for every person’s right to live as their true self! #TDOV #TransVisibility”
Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
“They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”