“What people still don’t understand is that the important thing is identity. You don’t [transition] for sexual reasons, you do it because of who you are.” - Christine Jorgensen
March 31, 2022 marks the 13th international Transgender Day of Visibility. The holiday was founded in 2009 by transgender activist Rachel Crandall in an effort to raise awareness, induce moral responsibility, and educate the public on transgender, two-spirit, and nonbinary gender identity issues.
Ascend is proud to stand in solidarity with the transgender, nonbinary, and two-spirit communities against hate and discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation. We are committed in our support of the transgender individuals who fight every day towards greater equity, dignity, and freedom of mobility.
To our nonbinary community members who participate in our climbing, yoga, fitness, and community programming, we see you. We value you, and we will continue to advocate for the change, representation and quality of life you deserve.
Considerations On Transgender Day of Visibility
Transgender Day of Visibility is an important addition to Trans Day of Rememberance– a long-standing day of mourning the members of the transgender community who have lost their lives to transphobic violence. Today offers an opportunity for us to celebrate the accomplishments of nonbinary individuals and further advocate for increased representation, equitable treatment, and improved policy legislation in allyship with the transgender community.
A Brief Timeline of Transgender Milestones in the U.S.A
The first person to undergo gender confirmation surgery in the U.S.A was Christine Jorgenson (1952), a model and actress who was subsequently outed without her consent by the media.
In 1966 Harry Benjamin published “The Transsexual Phenomenon.” A first-of-its-kind publication that outlined how transgender people could medically transition.
The Stonewall Riots of 1969 shone a spotlight on the harassment, violence, and discrimination faced by LGBTQIA+ individuals at the hands of law enforcement.
Marsha P. Johnson initiated the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR House) in 1970 to advocate for and shelter unprotected transgender people.
In 2004, transgender identities were legally recognized in the U.S.A with the passing of Bill A5465D– colloquilly known as the Gender Recognition Act. The bill effectively repealed various barriers to drivers licenses and other official forms of government ID.
It was not until 2019 that the World Health organization (W.H.O) removed “transexualization” from their list of mental health disorders and introduced the term “gender incongruence” to the standing list of sexual health categories in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems.
In November of 2020, trans climber Lor Sabourin became the first trans AFAB athlete to send an outdoor 5.13+ trad route.
More to Consider
Trans Climbing Coalition: A community-led rock climbing organization committed to bringing transgender climbers together in a safe space.
Transathlete: A virtual resource for transgender students, athletes, coaches, and administrators to access information regarding transgender athlete inclusion in sports at the k-12, college, and professional levels.
Lady Crush Crew: A nonprofit organization dedicated to leading outdoor climbing events for trans, two-spirit, and cisgender women including trail and neighborhood cleanups, national parks stewardship, and opportunities for athletes to secure brand sponsorships.
PGH Equality Center: A Pittsburgh-based organization promoting education, advocacy, and social justice for LGBTQIA+ people and allies in the Western PA region.
Allegheny Health Network Center for Inclusion Health: The Allegheny Health Network has expanded to include relevant, compassionate resources and services for transgender individuals in our region.
Equality Ohio: Ohio’s only organization dedicated solely to the civil rights of LGBTQ Ohioans. This nonprofit works with partners across the wide landscape of the Ohio social justice movement to ensure that local laws reflect and protect LGBTQ residents.
Full Spectrum Community Outreach: An LGBTQIA+ wellness center based in Youngstown, Ohio.
SisTers PGH: Sisters PGH in a Black and Trans led nonprofit serving QTBIPOC (Queer Trans Black + Indigenous People of Color) in the Southwestern PA region.
ACLU: A nonprofit, nonpartisan, legal and advocacy 501(c)(4) org. Donations via Instagram stickers benefit the ACLU Foundation, an affiliated 501(c)(3) org.
The Name Change Project: A nonprofit organization offering pro bono legal name change services to low-income transgender, non-binary, and gender nonconforming individuals across the U.S.A..
National Center for Transgender Equality: A transgender-centered organization advocating to change policies and society to increase understanding and acceptance of transgender people. Current NCTE projects include the Racial and Economic Justice Initiative (REJI), the Trans Legal Services Network (TLSN), Voices for Trans Equality (VTE), and Families for Trans Equality (FTE).
Trans Lifeline: Trans Lifeline (877-565-8860) is a 24/7 hotline available in the U.S. and Canada staffed by transgender people for transgender people.
Equity + Outreach at ASCEND
By Rachel Stachelrodt