CALGARY – Preparations are underway for an event celebrating Calgary’s transgender community and its supporters.
International Transgender Day of Visibility takes place on March 31 and is the first large-scale celebration of trans people in the city, other than the pride parade.
The annual holiday is dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide.
The holiday was founded in 2009 because of a lack of LGBTQ holidays.
Calgary Pride and the Trans Equality Society of Alberta (TESA) are hosting a free event at the Jack Singer Concert Hall Lobby of Arts Common.
Organizers said it was important to have a day of celebration for the trans community and its achievements.
“We’ve seen a lot of progress over the past year, which has been wonderful, certainly with Bill 7 passing – which was an amendment to the Alberta Human Rights Act – which included gender identity and expression,” said Amelia Marie Newbert, director of Community Development for Calgary Pride. “However the stigma and discrimination that exists in society towards trans people is still very prevalent.”
“There certainly is substantially more diversity in the community and that’s what we’re trying to highlight in the event,” Newbert said.
Statistics show that 83 per cent of trans individuals have or continue to avoid spaces due to the fear and threat of discrimination, violence and harassment.
The ‘Trans Pulse‘ project statistics also show that 77 per cent of trans people have seriously considered suicide, with over 40 per cent having attempted it.