What is International Transgender Day of Visibility? Why is it important?
Happy International Transgender Day of Visibility! Celebrate your identity and be proud of who you are. You deserve nothing but the best because it's only through acceptance that we can continue moving forward as a society towards equality for all people, no matter their gender or sexuality.
International Transgender Day of Visibility was created by Rachel Crandall-Crocker to honor the visbility and equality of transgender people.
As a company, Woxer is proud to be an advocate and honor trans people and gender diverse people all around the world. We value those who have overcome challenges in their journey while raising awareness about what it means to be trans, while also working tirelessly towards equality in our community.
The Power and Impact of Language
Language can be a powerful tool to affirm and fight everyday for trans equality.
Here are some ways that we support our community. We hope this inspires others to take action as well!
What is Gender identity: The pursuit of an equal opportunity for everyone, regardless of gender. It eliminates the gender based oppression of people. When gender equality is achieved, all people- including those who identify as women or men -will have equal rights and opportunities.
The terms we use when talking about gender identity include non-binary, genderqueer, two-spirit, agender, genderfluid, agender, woman, man, and many others. Plus, some folx may use more than one gender identity term, such as being a non-binary man or a genderfluid woman, and other people may change the terms they use if they find words that feel more affirming for them. Every person’s gender identity is unique to them--and the meaning of each term is defined by each individual. What non-binary means to me is not necessarily the same as other folx who use this gender identity term.
What is Gender Expression: A part of the way people live their lives. It typically takes form through one’s appearance and behavior but can also include what they wear or how they communicate with others around them. Underwear is an important form of gender expression that communicates our values and beliefs.
The terms used when talking about gender expression are feminine, masculine, and androgynous. Importantly, someone’s gender expression may change--whether that’s within the same day or over time.
a. Example: Underwear is an aspect of gender expression–it is an article of clothing
that one uses to express themself, and feel comfortable in. Woxer is a form of gender expression!
What is Sex: At birth, infants are assigned a sex (also known as someone’s sex designated or presumed at birth), usually based on the appearance of their external anatomy. However, a person’s sex is actually a combination of bodily characteristics including: chromosomes, hormones, internal and external reproductive organs, and secondary sex characteristics.
Importantly, someone’s sex assigned (or designated or presumed) at birth may not be the same as their sex (the sex that they identify with).
The terms used when talking about sex are intersex, non-binary, female, and male.
Transgender and Cisgender: Cisgender is a term used to describe a person whose gender identity and sex aligns with the gender and sex they were assigned or designated at birth.
“Cis-" is a Latin prefix meaning "on the same side as"
If you were assigned female at birth (sex), and therefore presumed and expected to be a woman (gender identity), and you currently identify as a woman (gender identity) and as female (sex), than you are cisgender.
If you were assigned male at birth (sex), and therefore presumed and expected to be a man
(gender identity), and you currently identify as a man (gender identity) and male (sex), than you are cisgender.
Transgender is a term used to describe people whose gender identity and/or sex differs from the gender identity and/or sex assigned or designated to them at birth “Trans-" is a Latin prefix meaning "across, over, or beyond" If you were assigned male at birth (sex) and expected to be a man (gender identity), and you do not identify as a man (gender identity) and/or male (sex)–maybe you are a woman (gender identity), female (sex), or you identify outside of the gender and sex binaries–you would fall under the trans umbrella. If you were assigned female at birth (sex) and expected to be a woman (gender identity), and you do not identify as a woman (gender identity) and/or female (sex)–maybe you are a man (gender identity), male (sex), or you identify outside of the gender and sex binaries–you would fall under the trans umbrella. Importantly, the term transgender is not limited to the gender binary. Yes, many transgender people identify within the gender binary as men and women, however, many others, identify outside of the gender binary, and are transgender.
Transgender and cisgender are adjectives–they are not gender identity terms themselves--they simply describe someone’s relationship to the gender and/or sex they were designated at birth. When we talk about gender identity we would use gender identity terms such as non-binary, woman, man, genderqueer, genderfluid, two-spirit, etc.
5. Gender Affirmation Journey: Transition–Social, Legal, Medical All trans and gender diverse folx have their own journey of self discovery and gender affirmation. Transition is a way to affirm who someone has always been, and to have that reflected. Transitioning is the process of aligning who someone is on the inside (their innate gendered sense of self) with who they are on the outside, and how the world perceives them and interacts with them. More specifically, transitioning refers the social, legal, and/or medical process that a trans, non-binary, and gender expansive person may go through in order to live as their authentic self, and to be the most affirmed in their identity and body. Commonly, trans, non-binary, and gender expansive people pursue gender transition to decrease gender dysphoria and increase gender euphoria. Many trans, non-binary, and gender expansive folx choose to pursue gender transition, however, for many others, transition avenues are not a part of their journeys–and they are still transgender. Gender transition is a deeply personal and individualized process. Trans, non-binary, and gender expansive people may choose to undergo some, all or none of these processes. Note: Not every trans, non-binary, and gender expansive person desires transitioning. Not every trans, non-binary, and gender expansive person has the resources to pursue these transition avenues.
6. Pronouns: he/him/his (someone who might identify as male) she/her/hers (someone who might identify as female they/them/their (someone who might not identify strictly as male or female, these pronouns are considered “gender neutral”)
Today is all about celebrating achievements in the trans community so here are some people we want to highlight!
Laverne Cox: The famous Netflix celebrity, Orange is the New Black has been a very vocal advocate for trans rights. She addressed crowds at schools and other forums all over America.
"For me, the transgender thing is the reality of my life. It's the reality of my existence and it's something that I've come to believe is beautiful about me."
Kye Allums: The first openly transgender athlete to play at the highest level of NCAA Division 1, when he played on women’s team for George Washington University in 2010.
"My biological sex is female, which makes me a transgender male."
Laura Jana Grace: Musician and vocal advocate for trans acceptance, this musician came out publicly in 2012.
“Trans people should be able to fall in love and sing love songs too, and have that be just as valid. You turn on the radio and every other song is some guy singing about some girl who broke his heart, or vice versa. And there's not a lot of trans representation with that.”
Dr. Rachel Levine
Marsha P Johnson
Miss Major Griffin-Gracy
How to Be an Ally
As a gender inclusive brand, we pride ourselves on continuously striving to represent everyone and making sure that each individual feels comfortable.
Woxer is an organisation working every day to be better allies in action for the trans community. Here are some ways that we support and advocate, we hope you’ll join us:
Use respectful and affirming language, including names and pronouns.
Don’t make assumptions about someone’s gender identity, gender expression, sex, pronouns, or sexuality.
a. You do not know someone’s gender identity, sex, or pronouns just by looking at them (i.e., based on their gender expression–physical appearance). And you only know someone’s gender expression, how they are externally presenting themself, in that moment that you are seeing them–their gender expression may change depending on the physical space that they are in, and the people they are around. b. B. Also, you do not know someone’s gender identity based on the pronouns that they use–people of many gender identities may use gender neutral pronouns such as they/them, xe/xem, and ze/hir. And folx who use binary pronouns may identify both in and out of the gender binary.
Continue to educate yourself on trans topics and issues.
- Stand up for trans people:
- step up when you hear misgendering or bullying, sign petitions and use your voice.
- Step up when you hear misgendering or bullying; sign petitions and use your voice in your community; correct misinformation;
- Advocate for gender inclusive language and physical spaces (such as gender neutral dress codes, restrooms, and locker rooms); request trans awareness and competency trainings.
- Don’t be afraid to correct your friends, family, coworkers, or classmates when they use gendered language or the wrong name or pronouns. It is your responsibility as an ally in action to advocate for trans people.
- Challenge cisnormativity and heteronormativity.
- Visibly show your support of trans rights year round: Add your pronouns to your email signature, social media bios, zoom, etc., put a trans flag on your water bottle, laptop, etc., encourage the spaces you’re in to have a flag or safe space sticker.
- Add your pronouns to your email signature/social media bios/zoom/linkedin/etc.
- Put a trans flag on your water bottle/laptop/car/window/lawn/etc.
- Encourage the spaces you’re in (such as work, school, community centers) to display the trans flag and safe space stickers
Have discussions with family and friends on gender.
a. Continue to educate yourself on trans topics and issues–the work to being an effective ally in action does not stop here! Read and learn for yourself. Do not expect the trans people in your life to be your educators.
a. Do not ask someone what their legal name or “birth name” (i.e., deadname) is. i. That is personal information that you have no right to, and can cause significant distress when asked. So instead of asking someone “Ya, but what’s your real name?” simply ask, “What is your name?
b. Avoid using outdated and transphobic words: use the word “transgender” when referring to trans people, unless someone tells you they use a different term.
C. Transgender is an adjective, not a noun or verb
- i. Do NOT say:
- “a transgender/transgenders”
- Do say:
- “They/He/She/Ze/etc. is transgender”
- Do not out someone
- Do not share someone’s identity with others (unless this person has explicitly given you permission to do so). Make sure you know someone’s “out” status, and check in with them to ask what name, pronouns, and other language you can safely use in different environments. This keeps trans and gender non-conforming people safe when navigating various environments
- No more assumptions!
- Don’t know something? Just ask! Do some reading. Try a google search. The last thing you should do is act on your assumptions
Being an Effective Ally in Action to the Trans and Gender Diverse:
Ally is a verb- and requires action. Being an ally means that you support, affirm, and advocate for the trans and gender diverse community- and that can take SO many forms.
Saying that you are an ally is not enough- you must act. Every single person can play a role in the ongoing fight for the trans rights-the action of cisgender allies is critical, and that’s where you come in.
How does Woxer impact the trans community?
We work hard everyday to create a welcoming and supportive environment for the trans community through our photoshoots, work values, and our online community. We continue to educate our staff and have partnered up with educators such as Lex Horwitz to ensure we have all the right tools. Educational workshops and conferences are a great way to learn more about the trans community as well. These events provide an important venue for learning and discussing issues that affect them. Education is key.
How to get involved and learn more:
We want to be your voice and make sure we are helping in the best way we can. Here we have provided resources to answer all of your questions and concerns about the trans community that can help you support and learn more.
Trans Women of Color Collective (TWOCC) (advocacy)
Black Trans Advocacy (advocacy)
Trans Latina Coalition (advocacy)
Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) (advocacy)
Transgender Law Center (TLC) (legal services and advocacy)
Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF) (legal services)
Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP) (legal services)
Trans Doe Task Force (legal services)
TransLife Center at Chicago House (support services)
Gender Spectrum (support for families, trans youth, and educators)
Gender Diversity and TransFamilies (support for families, trans youth, and educators)
Trans Youth Equality Federation (support for families and trans youth)
TransTech Social Enterprises (economic empowerment)
SPART*A (advocacy for trans military service members)
Transgender American Veterans Association (advocacy for trans veterans)
TransAthlete.com (info about trans athletes)
https://www.transhub.org.au/ (Resource for trans folx)
https://www.pointofpride.org/ (Resource for life saving)
https://www.questionsandqueeries.com/ (Interactive activities and guides)
Understanding Gender (definitions, terminology): https://genderspectrum.org/articles/understanding-gender
Educator, LGBTQ+, Activist & Consultant Lex Horwitz has partnered with Woxer to provide the best tools and resources for our community. Special thanks for sharing your knowledge and information with the Woxer community!