Honoring Trans Day of Visibility
When B. Parker, a Black transgender artist, wrote “give us our roses while we’re still here”, it became a rallying cry for the world to honor and uplift the tireless work of trans people in life rather than only recognizing our community during public moments of loss and mourning. Lately, America has only given us thorns — the passage of anti-trans legislation happening in state legislatures nationwide, the public outcries against the participation of trans athletes in sports, and the increasing number of fatal hate crimes against trans women of color in major cities across America indicate a bleak time to be trans in America. But where there is visibility, there is hope.
This week, in the spirit of B. Parker, we’re highlighting trans people across America doing meaningful, important work to make our community and our country a better place. We’re proud of them.
Astronaut Sally Ride “you can’t be who you can’t see”. Which is to say, without seeing yourself reflected in public, it becomes hard to picture an actualized version of your life. Positive representation is lifesaving and life-affirming for trans people. Media’s fixation with trans trauma stories and legislative transphobia makes it easy to believe that there are no trans folks in America leading successful, fulfilling lives as their genuine, authentic selves. That’s not true. In celebration of Trans Day of Visibility on March 31, join us in recognizing the work of 10 trans trailblazers fighting the good fight.
⚡️ The Activist :: LaSaia Wade (she/they)
LaSaia Wade is the Founder and Executive Director of Brave Space Alliance, Founder of the TNTJ Tennessee Trans Journey Project, and a member of Chicago Trans Gender Nonconforming Collective and the Trans Liberation Collective. Wade is an Afro-Puerto Rican Indigenous Trans Woman, and proudly advocates for Black, Indigenous, trans, and gender non-conforming folks worldwide.
⚡️ The Legislator :: Danica Roem (she/her)
When Danica Roem was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2017, she made history as the first transgender legislator in the United States. She later became the first trans person to win reelection in the United States. Before entering politics, Roem served as an award-winning journalist.
⚡️ The Writer :: Raquel Willis (she/her)
Raquel Willis is an award-winning writer and activist on the forefront of the Black trans liberation movement. As former Editor of Out Magazine, she published the “Trans Obituaries Project” which won a GLAAD Media Award for its journalism. A mobilizer and organizer, Raquel has written truth-telling pieces about gender and race for publications like Vogue, Essence, VICE, and BuzzFeed.
⚡️ The Admiral :: Rachel Levine, MD (she/her)
Admiral Rachel Levine, MD, made history when she was nominated and confirmed as the 17th Assistant Secretary for Health under the Biden Administration. A graduate of Harvard College and Tulane School of Medicine, Levine has previously served as Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the Penn State College of Medicine, Vice-Chair for Clinical Affairs for the Department of Pediatrics, and Chief of the Division of Adolescent Medicine and Eating Disorders at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center.
⚡️ The Artist :: Chella Man (he/him)
Chella Man champions intersectionality as a queer, trans, deaf, Chinese, and Jewish artist, activist, and actor. Man’s work hits at the intersections of disability, gender, race, and sexuality. A published author, Man published Continuum with Penguin Publishing in 2021, and his painting and performance art has been featured around the world at prestigious locations like Palazzo Monti, The Brooklyn Museum, and Mana Contemporary.
⚡️ The Senator :: Sarah McBride (she/her)
After serving as the National Press Secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, Sarah McBride made history as the first transgender person elected to a state senate in the United States. Representing the 1st State Senate District of Delaware, she fights for equality and justice for all Delewarians. McBride previously made history as the first transgender person to address the Democratic National Convention in 2016.
⚡️ The Trailblazer :: ALOK (they/them)
ALOK is a force to be reckoned with. An internationally-recognized nonbinary writer, artist, and public speaker, ALOK created the #DeGenderFashion movement to shift the narrative around binary fashion trends as a form of anti-violence. ALOK is the author of three best-selling books, including Femme in Public (2017), Beyond the Gender Binary (2020), and Your Wound/My Garden (2021). For their work, ALOK has been recognized as a member of NBC’s Pride 50 and as one of HuffPo’s Culture Shifters.
⚡️ The Techie :: Angelica Ross (she/her)
Angelica Ross is making big moves in tech and Hollywood. An actress known for breakout roles on Pose and American Horror Story, Ross’s talents don’t stop on the big screen. As Founder of Trans Tech Social Enterprises, she works to empower, educate, and employ trans people in and around the tech industry. Ross is a self-taught computer programmer and has been a leading figure in the trans and racial justice movements.
⚡️ The Attorney :: Kylar W. Broadus, Esq. (he/him)
Kylar W. Broadus has been leading the fight for trans civil rights for decades. As a Black trans attorney, activist, and public speaker, Broadus was awarded the Trans Trailblazer Award from the LGBT Bar Association of Los Angeles and was honored at the 2017 GLAAD Media Awards by Liberty Mutual. For his pioneering work fighting for trans rights, The Advocate named Broadus one of “25 Legal Advocates Fighting for Trans Rights”. Recently, Broadus was appointed Senior Public Policy Council of the Transgender Civil Rights Project for the National LGBTQ Taskforce.
⚡️ The Producer :: Alex Schmider (he/him)
Alex Schmider is changing the game for transgender representation in media. As GLAAD’s Director of Transgender Representation, Schmider consults with the media and entertainment industry to be more inclusive of trans talent on screen. Schmider has served as a Producer for Hulu’s documentary Changing the Game (2021) and Associate Producer for Netflix’s Disclosure. For his work, Schmider has been named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30.