Trans Day of Visibility at McCann
Today, March 31st marks the International Trans Day of Visibility, an annual celebration dedicated to honoring members of the trans community and a day for cis-gendered* individuals to step back and check ourselves and our varying privileges. The day serves as a reminder to constantly listen to those whose stories are not always heard and seldom given the light they deserve.
In the first two months of 2017, at least seven trans women of color have been murdered, many of them under the age of 30. These stories tend to fall to the wayside in place of more commercialized notions of trans individuals -- more digestible content. But the history of the LGBTQ community and trans individuals specifically, has always been met with opposition. With a rising political rhetoric centered around the maintenance of power for cis-gendered men, it is so important to dedicate space and time for individuals whose experiences are being sublimated.
Much of the stigma around trans individuals revolves around their acquiescing to the male and female binary*. Our society views transpeople as more “legitimized” if they are adhering to either male or female means of presenting themselves. This notion is reductive for a multitude of reasons – it works to effectively erase non-binary* individuals, and assumes that a trans individual is only “really” trans if they opt to engage in the process of transitioning. Not only are not all trans people able to transition into the appearance of their preferred gender (for financial or circumstantial reasons) – but not all of them want to. An individual who is trans can express their identity in whatever way they deem fit – not by how explicitly they adhere to “male” or “female” statues of presentation.
McCann is showing their support in important ways. Today, we are introducing gender-neutral bathrooms on multiple floors in our office. There is no reason to equate a bodily function to the body associated with it. Neutrality offers safety for trans and non-binary individuals, and erases the reductive nature that comes associating a gender to the bathroom. Humans have human functions.
McCann will also be streaming famous trans-YouTuber Gigi Gorgeous’ documentary and placing laptops on the 23rd floor with slideshows providing culturally relevant and crucial information about the trans community. Let’s dedicate today to listening, learning, and observing.
*Cis-gendered: A person who’s identity and gender correlates to their assigned birth sex.
*Gender Binary: The assertion that one’s sex and gender can fit into only one of two roles, male or female. The imposition that practiced mannerisms and actions can affirm an individual as either “masculine” or “feminine”.
*Non-binary: An individual who does not prescribe to either the “male” or “female” binary and may/may not prefer to be addressed with neutral pronouns such as they/them/their.