International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) is an annual event occurring on March 31. This day is dedicated to celebrating the lives and accomplishments of transgender and gender non-conforming people while raising awareness of the discrimination they face to this day. On TDOV, we recognize the importance of being seen, and the crucial role visibility plays in changing widespread attitudes, relationships, and lives.
Last year for TDOV, leaders of the Transgender Education and Advocacy Program (TEAP) of the ACLU of Mississippi and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) of Mississippi dedicated a flower bed and plaque to the transgender community at Fondren Park in Jackson. In short time, the plaque was stolen and flowers had died. Discouraged by these events, the bed was allowed to fall into a state of disrepair.
This year, we reclaimed and rededicated our space. We have designed and built a structure that is not only bigger and stronger but hand- made and well-planned to securely and permanently hold our plaque and flowers. In addition, the one and only Felder Rushing, a nationally prominent professional multimedia garden communicator, has been so gracious to donate flowers and dirt, expert advice, and hands-on assistance. Our dedication and reveal was recorded LIVE on the We Are All Mississippi Facebook page.
This year, we send a strong message to our community – We are here, we stand firm, and we will bloom. We believe that all people have valuable experiences, skills, and perspectives to offer our communities; that accepting and appreciating each other’s differences are the foundations for growth; and that we can accomplish greater things when working together. But first, we must be visible.
"They tried to bury us. They did not know we were seeds." -Dinos Christianopoulos