More than visibility needed for transgender community

Sarah Simon, Associate Views Editor

Last Thursday marked the annual Transgender Day of Visibility, a day meant to place trans men and women and the issues they face in the spotlight. This year’s theme was More Than Visibility. Visibility is important, but as the theme suggests, action is the necessary next step.

TDOV aims to expose injustice and discrimination towards trans people. With 20 percent of trans people experiencing homelessness, 50 percent experiencing sexual assault and 41 percent attempting suicide, it is evident that this community is in danger.

Americans have a responsibility to change their perception of trans individuals. De facto housing discrimination and social discrimination lead to alarming dangers. It is in the interest of public safety and equality to create change.

On a college campus, it may seem like there is not a lot we can do to positively impact trans lives nationwide. However, college students represent the future. If we foster inclusivity and education about transgender issues, we can make an impact on the path to progress. Attending programming run by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, supporting gender neutral bathrooms and on-campus housing, educating oneself about transgender issues, honoring LGBT pride events and supporting the trans art community in New Orleans are simple ways to get involved.

On a larger scale, writing to congressmen in support of anti-discrimination legislation and volunteering with some of New Orleans’ many LGBT organizations can make a big difference in the lives of transgender individuals.

Celebrate TDOV by moving past visibility. This year’s celebration came with a call to action. It is important to step up and follow through.