Transgender Day of Visibility is an annual event occurring on March 31st, and is dedicated to celebrating the Transgender Community by raising awareness of discrimation and relentless resiliency of the community in standing tall and strong in the face of injustice.
Rachel Crandall, a U.S.based Transgender activist, founded this day in 2009 to raise awareness for the incredible burden of discrimination the community faces in every setting imaginable. The need to bring a day of ‘visibility’ for the transgender community is indicative of the oppression they face in many sectors of life. Crandall wanted to highlight the fact that the only transgender-centric day that was internationally recognized is the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which is intended to mourn of members of the community who had lost their lives, and that there was no day to pay homage to living transgender people.
In celebration of Transgender Day of Visibility, we asked 3 Questions to, Lee Chastain regarding his experiences as both a member of the Transgender and Recovery Communities.
- What does Transgender Day of Visibility mean to you?
It’s a day to acknowledge and thank those who have and are continuing to pave the way for myself and other Transgender/Non-Binary people to be free and proud, as our true selves.
It’s also a day in which we remember all those who have lost their lives to violence and murder for being Trans.
- As a member of two distinct communities, both with a similar drive for Social Justice, do you feel the recovery community provides enough support for the Transgender community? What changes would you like to see?
The positive benefit for Transgender Recovery Support I have found on social media. I have gotten to know other Transgender people through support groups and zoom meetings found on Facebook,who have helped me through my transition while maintaining my sobriety. The challenge in the local community for Transgender/Non-Binary people is that it is non-extistent.
I am not saying there isn’t a recovery community locally because there is. I have a network and friends in Recovery who love and support me as a Transgender person 100%. But they are not Transgender. They try but they do not fully understand what Transgender people in recovery go through.
If I could change anything, I would like to see Recovery houses for Transgender people, (especailly youth) to feel safe.
The community can also benefit from more noticeable initiatives to help and educate our community and promote awareness and respect for the Transgender community.
We need more allies to get involved, to advocate and say aloud and proud I support you and I love you for who you are!
- What advice do you have for trans people looking for a recovery?
You are BEAUTIFUL! You are NEEDED! You are MORE than enough! You don’t have to be ashamed or hide your true self with drugs and/or alcohol.
It is possible to live a clean and sober life as your TRUE Authentic self, and I am here to help you in any way I can.