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OPSEU/SEFPO Celebrates Transgender Day of Visibility

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Wednesday, March 31 is International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDoV), an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments and victories of transgender and gender non-conforming people while raising awareness of the work that is still needed to save Trans lives.

TDoV encourages people to talk about the issues facing transgender people and why it’s so important to talk about them. It’s a day of recognition, allowing people to learn about the history of transgender people while also building acceptance as the community strives for safety, understanding, and well-being.

“It’s so important that we celebrate Trans lives loudly and clearly,” said OPSEU/SEFPO President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “While we’re all struggling during the pandemic, we have to remember the most marginalized among us were facing threats to their safety and security long before COVID-19 came along.”

“Solidarity with the transgender community is so important right now”, said OPSEU/SEFPO First Vice President and Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida. “Celebrating this great community during a pandemic is really needed as they’ve been isolated and without support networks for months. It emphasizes social justice and inclusion for all Trans people.”

TDoV is a great opportunity to learn from the pride and resilience of the transgender community. By educating one another, we hope to end discrimination and remove transphobia.

“As we celebrate, we must never forget those who still feel invisible even in their own communities and workplaces, and who may live every day with fear of discrimination or violence,” said Morgen Veres, Co-Chair of OPSEU/SEFPO’s Rainbow Alliance arc-en-ciel (RAA). “We have to fight for a world where every transgender and non-binary person is respected and protected, especially in the workplace.”

Despite a growing awareness of many Trans issues, many employers are still not equipped to provide educational information to their workforces or assist an employee who is transitioning. It’s clear that we need to create more Trans-inclusive workplaces as the focus has largely been centered on the “LGB”, and not the “TQ”.

Though the COVID-19 pandemic has limited in-person celebrations for TDoV 2021, let’s all work within the restrictions to shine a light on transgender rights: talk about Trans issues and accomplishments in the workplace; share an empowering Trans individual on social media; update your profile picture to the Trans flag; and include your pronouns beside your signature or name during a virtual meeting to show solidarity.