Mar 30, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Biden honors Transgender Day of Visibility: "Your President sees you"

Photo of Joe Biden looking up with his mouth in a firm line

President Biden delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in the U.S. Capitol House Chamber on March 1, 2022 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Saul Loeb/Pool via Getty Images

President Biden issued a statement Wednesday to mark March 31 as the Transgender Day of Visibility and "recognize the resilience, strength, and joy of transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming people."

The big picture: The proclamation comes as conservative states continue to introduce and pass new anti-trans legislation, with dozens of bills targeting trans youth. 2021 was the deadliest year on record for trans people in America.

What he's saying: "To everyone celebrating Transgender Day of Visibility, I want you to know that your President sees you," Biden said. "On this day and every day, we recognize the resilience, strength, and joy of transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming people."

  • "We celebrate the activism and determination that have fueled the fight for transgender equality," he added. "We acknowledge the adversity and discrimination that the transgender community continues to face across our Nation and around the world."
  • "Like never before, they are sharing their stories in books and magazines; breaking glass ceilings of representation on television and movie screens; enlisting — once again — to serve proudly and openly in our military; getting elected and making policy at every level of government; and running businesses, curing diseases, and serving our communities in countless other ways."
  • "Despite this progress, transgender Americans continue to face discrimination, harassment, and barriers to opportunity," Biden said, citing efforts to criminalize gender-affirming care, outlaw certain discussions of LGBTQ issues in schools and ban trans children from participating on sports teams that align with their gender identity.
  • "I call upon all Americans to join us in lifting up the lives and voices of transgender people throughout our Nation and to work toward eliminating discrimination against all transgender, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary people — and all people."

The big picture: The Biden administration has repeatedly condemned states' efforts to target trans youth.

  • 85% of trans and or non-binary youth said recent debates over state laws that target trans people have negatively impacted their mental health, according to a January poll by the Trevor Project, an organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth.
  • Medical experts and pediatricians have especially expressed concern about new mental health crises among trans kids due to bills aimed at criminalizing gender-affirming health care.
  • Biden became the first sitting U.S. president to issue a proclamation in observance of Transgender Day of Visibility last year. The international day was first marked in 2009 as a way to commemorate trans lives and accomplishments.

Go deeper: Attacks on care for trans kids

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