Emphasizing Inclusion at Work on Transgender Day of Visibility

Trans flag on a white background

Photo Credit: Supatra Tiang-nga

On March 31, 2009, Rachel Crandall-Crocker created the Transgender Day of Visibility. Prior to this holiday, the only widely known day signifying trans history and trans issues was the Transgender Day of Remembrance, an opportunity for people around the world to honor transgender homicide victims. Crandall-Crocker saw that, while there was a very serious need to publicly grapple with this issue and advocate on behalf of those who were killed, there was also a need to create an event to celebrate trans joy, trans life, and the mission for trans progress. Thus, the Transgender Day of Visibility was born!

The transgender community uses the day to celebrate who they are and speak on their right to be seen and heard. Roughly 1.6 million people over the age of 13 identify as transgender (or 0.6% of the 13+ population). Research suggests that young people are more likely to identify as transgender or gender non-conforming, which only signifies a positive shift in societal awareness, education, and acceptance of this community. Since the majority of U.S. adults state that they have never met a transgender person, this shift can largely be attributed to increased representation in media and a concerted effort from allies to amplify trans voices, trans perspectives, and trans issues. Trans icons are also more visible than ever, which in some instances has led to more positive perceptions. While this increased visibility is vital to progress, it has also led to an increased backlash.

As of February 2024, 130 anti-trans bills have been filed nationwide this year. Last year, there were 225. Nearly half of the ever-increasing book bans across the U.S. are against LGBTQ+ writers or discuss LGBTQ+ topics, many of which focus on transgender, non-binary, or other gender identity terms and characters. Meta and other prominent social media companies are failing to prevent or remove anti-trans hate speech and calls to violence on their platforms, which is a direct violation of their terms’ of service. UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute found that transgender people are four times more likely to be victims of violence. The National Sexual Violence Resource Center notes that, “Almost half of all transgender people have been sexually assaulted at some point in their lives, and these rates are even higher for trans people of color and those who have done sex work, been homeless, or have (or had) a disability.”

In the wake of all of these deeply troubling facts about America’s intolerance, it would be far too easy to give in to feelings of sadness, defeat, or despair. However, the trans community has demonstrated that in times of struggle, it is up to all of us to challenge adversity with community-wide compassion, assistance, allyship, and celebration. In honor of these valued members of our community, we are providing ways that employers can support and celebrate their trans and gender non-conforming colleagues.

Non-Discrimination Policy Overview and Training

Consider reevaluating your policies and procedures to encompass trans-related discrimination. Since, “Forty-seven percent (47%) [of survey respondents] said they had experienced an adverse job outcome, such as being fired, not hired or denied a promotion because of being transgender or gender non-conforming,” it only makes sense to ensure this policy review and training would focus on this population. RALIANCE would be proud to work with you to find ways to modify your policies and procedures to make them more equitable to all your colleagues.

Gender-Neutral Dress Code

Dress is an important way for individuals to express their gender identity. Ensure your office culture allows employees to wear articles of clothing that aligns with how they identify.

Equitable Language and Promoting Self-Identification (Pronouns)

Social acceptance starts with the words we speak, so educate your staff through informational materials like the University of Pennsylvania’s “Trans-Inclusive Language Guide” to ensure language used is accurate and appropriate. Also, affirm everyone’s identity by not only respecting their pronouns, but normalizing featuring pronouns in email signatures or documentation if your employees choose to do so.

Transgender Inclusive Healthcare Coverage

Healthcare is vital to equity across all spaces, and the same is true for trans employees. Since most trans people get their healthcare through their employer, investigate having your coverage include transition-related care. See the Human Rights Campaign’s resource “Transgender-Inclusive Benefits for Employees and Dependents” to learn more.

Establish an LGBTQ+ Friendly Employee Resource Group (ERG)

ERGs are an effective way to allow employees of all identities to have a chance to sit at the table and help make key decisions. Empowering your trans employees through an ERG could serve as a real benefit in making your organization more equitable.

Bathroom Access

Transgender bathroom access has been the subject of misunderstanding, contention, and fear-mongering over the past decade. Ensure that all your employees have the ability to seek out a bathroom during the workday they feel safe and comfortable going to. Guardian Life suggests in the name of equity and commitment to non-discrimination to, “Consider creating single-use, gender-neutral bathrooms in addition to, or in replacement of, gender-specific restrooms if it’s within the means of your facility.”

Maintain Contact with Community Partners Serving the Trans Community

Connect with the LGBTQ+ friendly organizations in your area to build strong networks that you can consult with as you continue your work to better your organization. It also gives you the chance to learn about local events that educate about and celebrate the trans community near you! If you’re looking to connect with some organizations that serve trans communities outside of your immediate area, you can follow and connect with some of RALIANCE’s grantees: FORGE, Inc. and Mirror Memoirs.

The trans people in our lives deserve to know that they are appreciated and that they belong. For this Trans Week of Visibility and Action, Trans Day of Visibility, and every other day of the year, let’s all work toward achieving that goal!

RALIANCE is a trusted adviser for organizations committed to building cultures that are safe, equitable, and respectful. RALIANCE offers unparalleled expertise in serving survivors of sexual harassment, misconduct, and abuse which drives our mission to help organizations across sectors create inclusive environments for all. For more information, please visit www.RALIANCE.org.


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