an image of a crowd, many waving transgender pride flags with blue, pink and white stripes.

Iranti and Amnesty International mark International Transgender Day of Visibility

In celebration of Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31, Amnesty International and Iranti collaborated on a social media campaign, Trans Love Letters, centred around promoting understanding, respect, love, and family shared through stories from transgender and gender-diverse people.

Iranti is a Johannesburg-based African regional human rights organisation, using multimedia storytelling, research and advocacy to affirm the human rights of Lesbian, Trans, Non-Binary and Intersex people,

Iranti and Amnesty International join the rest of the world in celebrating International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV). It’s a day for celebrating trans and gender-diverse people while raising awareness and drawing attention to the challenges, discrimination and injustices trans and gender diverse people continue to face.  

Under the theme Trans Love Letters, this is a moment for everyone to pause and reflect on the importance of promoting greater understanding, inclusivity, respect, love, and acceptance of trans and gender-diverse persons. While we celebrate the accomplishments of transgender and gender-diverse people, this is an opportunity to raise awareness of the work that still needs to be done to achieve trans justice around the world.  

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) recognises the inherent dignity, equal and inalienable rights of all people as the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in the world. However, globally, trans and gender-diverse persons are facing an assault on their rights propelled by increasingly influential anti-rights and anti-gender movements whose aim is to foster hate and exclusion, while promoting a societal norm that pressure people to conform to patriarchal, cisnormativity, heteronormativity, and cisgender stereotypical gender roles.

Trans or gender-diverse persons face diverse experiences, their lives are often characterized by deep-rooted structural marginalization and high rates of discrimination, poverty, harassment, violence, and exclusion manifested in their daily lives. The lack of legal recognition of their gender identities and the lack of ability to express themselves and deeply ingrained social norms, harmful gender stereotypes, and, in most countries, discriminatory legislation all serve to keep trans and gender-diverse people invisible and unable to reach their full potential. This goes hand-in-hand with the lack of laws protecting them from the multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination in exercising both their civil, political, social and economic rights such as accessing employment and housing.

Visibility means different things to different people, and we call on governments to listen to the voices and experiences of trans and gender-diverse people to understand better what it means for them and how to promote inclusivity and respect for their human rights. States are obliged to promote, protect, and fulfil all people’s rights and for transgender and gender-diverse people this entails efforts from states to combat harmful gender stereotypes leading to discrimination and inequality, and to ensure that culture and tradition are not used to violate or limit trans and gender-diverse people’s human rights.

Trans and gender-diverse people are our neighbours, parents, children, friends, family members, and coworkers. We encourage everyone to stand together as champions of trans and gender-diverse people’s inclusion and acceptance, creating a society that represents the beauty and strength of human diversity. Embracing each other’s differences with open hearts and minds, will not only honour our shared humanity but also build a more just and equitable world for us all. 

Amnesty International and Iranti hope that this year’s Transgender Day of Visibility exemplifies the transformative power of love and acceptance, paving the way for a more inclusive and equitable society where trans and gender-diverse people are celebrated, valued, and embraced.

Happy International Day of Trans Visibility to all trans and gender-diverse persons. Love and Solidarity!

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