Transgender Day Of Visibility

Medically reviewed by Paige Henry, LMSW, J.D.
Updated May 15, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team
Content warning: Please be advised, the below article might mention trauma-related topics that include suicide which could be triggering to the reader. If you or someone you love is having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988. Support is available 24/7. Please also see our Get Help Now page for more immediate resources.

Personal awareness and representation can make a difference in society's awareness of the needs of specific minority groups so that they can live authentically. Drawing attention to the struggles and triumphs of other people can allow society to better understand their experiences and how to be an ally. International Transgender Day of Visibility brings awareness to mental health concerns in the transgender community and ways allies can support their trans friends.

Do you know the importance of Transgender Day of Visibility?

What is TDOV?

According to the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) on March 31st is a day of awareness dedicated to "celebrating the accomplishments of transgender and gender non-conforming people while raising awareness of the work that still needs to be done to achieve trans justice.

Transgender is a term that encompasses gender identities and expressions differing from the cultural expectations based on someone's assigned gender at birth (AGAB). Transgender is often used to describe people who identify as non-binary, genderqueer, or genderfluid, as well as other gender identities. 

International Transgender Day of Visibility is a day to celebrate the lives and accomplishments of trans people—currently and throughout history—while highlighting the issues the transgender community still faces. The White House and the US government recognize this day as an official holiday in the US, with a proclamation released on March 30th, 2023

Supporting the trans community

Whether you are part of the trans community or an ally, there are numerous ways to show your support for TDOV, including the following: 

  • Learn about and honor the history of TDOV
  • Attend a TDOV event
  • Amplify the voices of trans people and their work
  • Explore issues affecting the trans community
  • Write to your local senator and government officials to ask them not to support anti-trans laws in your state 
  • Protest against anti-trans legislation in your state 

Importance of TDOV

TDOV was created in 2009 by transgender advocate Rachel Crandall to refocus the narrative toward celebrating the lives of trans people to empower them while acknowledging the discrimination and challenges trans people still face. 

Many people don't know someone who is transgender, which increases the importance of TDOV. TDOV offers a crucial opportunity to impart accurate, helpful information that can raise awareness about transgender people and how to support them as allies. 


Supporting transgender people in your daily life

Below are a few ways you can offer support and care:  

  • Speak up when you hear someone say something transphobic or disrespectful. 
  • If someone comes out to you, ask them how you can support them. 
  • Respect their pronouns and name. Do not use their deadname (old name). 
  • Consider using pronouns for yourself when meeting someone new or adding them to your email signature. 

Note that pronouns are the words others use to describe you, and every person has pronouns, regardless of gender. Common pronouns include she, him, they, ze, and it. Studies have found that using a trans person's correct pronouns can improve their mental health. 

Mental health and the trans community

Not every trans person experiences mental health challenges; being transgender is not a mental illness. However, being trans increases the risk of mental health conditions, suicide, and self-harm. Below are a few mental health statistics to keep in mind: 

Many of the challenges associated with being transgender are not due to having a trans identity but due to the risks of being transgender in a society where equality is considered a debate. 

If you're an LGBTQIA+ youth in crisis, reach out to The Trevor Project hotline by calling 1-866-488-7386 or texting "START" to 678-678. You can also use their online chat. 

The positive impact of care 

Below are some of the positive impacts of respecting trans individuals from the 2021 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health

  • Trans and non-binary youth who reported that their pronouns were respected by the people they live with attempted suicide over 50% less than those whose pronouns were not respected by housemates. 
  • Research shows lower rates of suicidal thoughts and behaviors among transgender and non-binary youth who were able to change their gender marker and name on legal documents. 

Mental health issues in the trans community

According to a 2019 study involving more than 10,000 transpatients, 58% reported at least one psychiatric diagnosis, compared to 13.6% in the control population. The study further found that major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder were the most common mental health conditions among trans people

Getty/MoMo Productions
Do you know the importance of Transgender Day of Visibility?

How to receive support 

If you or a loved one need support for trans issues or other mental health concerns in the trans community, the following resources may be valuable: 

  • The Trevor Project is a suicide prevention and crisis support organization for LGBTQIA+ youth. To reach the Trevor Lifeline, call 1-866-488-7386, text "START" to 678-678, or head to their website to chat. The Trevor Project also has an Ally Guide. 
  • The Trans Lifeline is available for transgender, non-binary, and gender-nonconforming people who need someone to talk to. You don't have to be in crisis to contact Trans Lifeline. You can find Trans Lifeline online or call one of the following numbers: US: 877-565-8860 or Canada: 877-330-6366.
  • SAGE's National LGBT Elder Hotline provides support and resources for LGBTQIA+ elders 24/7. Call 877-360-LGBT (5428) to reach the hotline.
Counseling options

If you are a part of the transgender or LGBTQIA+ community, you may be at a significantly higher risk of developing mental health conditions. If you are concerned about your mental health, consider working with a licensed therapist. Many LGBTQIA+ individuals opt into online therapy through a platform like BetterHelp for individuals or PrideCounseling for the LGBTQIA+ community. 

Online therapy can be beneficial because it allows you to receive care from a safe location and express interest in being matched with an LGBTQIA+ therapist that understands your needs. According to researchers at the American Psychological Association, online therapy provides users with many benefits and outcomes similar to treatment in the office setting. If you are seeking therapy for your trans child, platforms like TeenCounseling offer support for adolescents aged 13 to 19. 


International Transgender Day of Visibility has significance to both trans and cisgender people. It can be essential to understand the history and experiences of all communities to avoid repeating past mistakes. The fight for transgender rights and dignity has continued through 2024, and trans rights may be in jeopardy. Being an ally by using your own words to support trans people in your life and community can help those you live with and around feel safer, and raise visibility. If you are trans yourself, finding a safe and accepting community can be essential. 

If you're seeking support, reaching out to a therapist through an online platform or in person can be valuable. There are thousands of therapists in the US, and over 41.7 million US adults see a therapist, with the number growing. Join the numbers and reach out for help. You're not alone, and trans mental healthcare is available.
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