Exploring The Importance Of Transgender Day Of Visibility

Updated March 16, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Awareness and representation matter. Learning about the struggles and triumphs of other people can help you better understand their experiences and how you can support them as an ally. Read on to learn about the importance of International Transgender Day of Visibility, mental health issues in the trans community, and how therapy can offer professional support and guidance to manage symptoms and their effects. 

Do You Know Why Transgender Day Of Visibility Matters?

What Is Transgender Day Of Visibility (TDOV)?

According to the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, TDOV (March 31) is a day of awareness dedicated to “celebrating the accomplishments of transgender and gender nonconforming 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 conventional or cultural expectations based on the sex assigned at birth. It is generally 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 community still faces.   

How To Support The Trans Community For TDOV

Whether you are one of the transgender and gender-nonconforming community or an ally, there are numerous ways to show your support for International Transgender Day of Visibility. 

  • Learn and honor the history of Transgender Day of Visibility

  • Attend a TDOV event

  • Amplify the voices of transgender people and their work

  • Expand your reading list to include trans voices

  • Read and impart opinions and quotes from noted transgender figures

  • Learn about the Transgender Rights Movement

  • Explore issues affecting the transgender community

Why Transgender Visibility Matters

While news stories about the violence trans people face and negative political opinions often dominate the news cycle, 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 they still face. 

Many people don’t personally know someone who is transgender, which increases the importance of TDOV. The majority of the public learns about the trans community from the media. However, many media depictions misrepresent, mischaracterize, or stereotype trans people, frequently leading to gross misconceptions about what life is like for them, and the types of behaviors trans people are likely to exhibit. TDOV offers a crucial opportunity to impart accurate, helpful information that can raise awareness about transgender people and how to support them as allies. 

“It’s amazing how recognition of transgender identities can affect a larger group of people on such a personal level. Visibility also changes the attitudes of society. It can help to destigmatize transgender identities and open people’s minds. However, what the transgender community needs in this moment is more than visibility; what we need are rights, defense, justice, and acceptance. We have our visibility; now we need action.” — Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network

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Supporting Transgender People In Your Daily Life

You may be outside the transgender community and want to show support beyond Transgender Day of Visibility. Here are some ways you can support transgender people in your daily life. 

  • Speak up when you hear someone say something transphobic or disrespectful to the trans community. 

  • Listen to and believe transgender, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming people when they speak up about problems or express the need for change.

  • If someone comes out to you, ask them how you can show your support and if anyone in their life doesn’t know so you can help defend their safety and honor their requests if they have people they don’t want to know. 

  • Honor their chosen pronouns and names. Consider using pronouns for yourself when meeting someone new or adding them to your email signature. 

Mental Health And The Transgender Community

Many transgender people don’t experience mental health issues, or they have concerns that aren’t related to being transgender. However, the medical community has noticed a substantially increased risk for mental health conditions among transgender people. It is important to note that being transgender is not a mental health condition. However, many trans people experience mental health issues like gender dysphoria, anxiety and mood disorders, or other mental health conditions. 

Transgender Mental Health Takeaways

  • Transgender and nonbinary youth who reported that their pronouns were respected by the people they live with attempted suicide at half the rate of those whose pronouns were not respected by housemates. 

  • Research shows lower rates of suicidal thoughts and behaviors among transgender and nonbinary youth who were able to change their gender marker and name on legal documents. 

  • More than half of transgender and nonbinary youth responding to the survey seriously considered suicide in 2021. Suicidal thoughts and behaviors require immediate treatment. 

2021 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health

If you or a loved one are experiencing suicidal thoughts, seek help immediately. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 988 and is available 24/7.

How Common Are Mental Health Issues In The Trans Community?

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

Treatment For Anxiety, Depression, And Other Conditions

If you or a loved one is experiencing mental health symptoms, speak to your physician or mental healthcare provider about an assessment, diagnosis, and treatment plan to help you manage stress and emotional reactions. Many mental illnesses are treated with a combination of medication and psychotherapy (talk therapy), which can help teach healthy ways to cope with symptoms and communicate your needs and feelings with the important people in your life. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a common psychotherapy approach because it focuses on teaching patients to identify harmful or negative thought patterns and behaviors, shift toward healthier habits, and recognize those emotions in the future to cope with stress and mental health symptoms. 

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Do You Know Why Transgender Day Of Visibility Matters?

Reach Out For Help

If you or a loved one need support for trans issues or other mental health concerns in the trans community, here are some resources that may help. 

  • The Trevor Project is a suicide prevention and crisis support organization for LGBTQIA+ young people with several resources. 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, nonbinary, 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.

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 1-800-273-8255 or text “HOME” to 741741.

How Therapy Can Help Manage Mental Health Symptoms

People in the transgender community are at a significantly higher risk of developing mental health conditions. If you are concerned about your mental health, consider working with a licensed therapist online through a virtual therapy provider like BetterHelp. If you are seeking therapy for your trans child, TeenCounseling offers support for children from 12 to 19. 

According to researchers at the American Psychological Association, online therapy provides many benefits to users and similar outcomes as treatment in the traditional setting. Therapy can help manage the effects and symptoms of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, both of which are common in the trans community. Many patients said the convenience of online therapy made it possible to attend more sessions, which can increase the efficiency and duration of therapeutic outcomes. Patients also frequently commented that the added physical distance of virtual therapy made it easier to impart personal details with their therapists. 


International Transgender Day of Visibility has great significance to both transgender and cisgender people. It’s essential to understand the history and experiences of our own community and others so we can avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. The fight for transgender rights hasn’t been an easy one, and many people believe it’s crucial to honor the struggles previous generations faced. The information presented in this article may offer some insight into issues faced by the transgender community and how to show your support as an ally.

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