This post was written by Kimberley R. Barker, Librarian for Belonging & Community Engagement. The above graphic was created by HRC.
You may be wondering why members of the Transgender community need a day of visibility and our colleague, Samantha Strong, who is the DEI Program Coordinator and Community Specialist at UPG, provides some reasons in the beautiful graphic that you'll find below, especially ones related to healthcare. There's one more that I, as the Health Sciences Library's Librarian for Belonging & Community Engagement want to share, and it's that at least 32 Transgender people were murdered last year.
This human rights issue, like all human rights issues, will never improve as long as it's left in the dark; for things (anything) to get better, it must be brought into the light and addressed- hence the Transgender Day of Visibility. Transgender people exist all over the world. Transgender people are our students and colleagues here at the University of Virginia, and transgender patients come to UVA Health for gender-affirming care and gender health services. I encourage you to learn more about this important work by watching this video which features UVA Health's Dr. J.T. Stranix and Dr. Sean Corbett, or to learn about resources in my Healthcare and the LGBTQIA+ Community guide.
It can be difficult to understand something so outside of our own experience; if we're happy with the gender we were assigned at birth and believe that it matches who we really are, the idea of being transgender (and altering one's body- though not all Transgender people choose to pursue that), may cause feelings of fear, anger, and disgust- which is strange when you think about it, because why do we have such a strong reaction to what other people decide to do with their own bodies? Nevertheless some people do, as the (at least) 32 Transgender people who were senselessly murdered in 2022 demonstrates.
If you have a few minutes, I encourage you to read this March 23, 2023 article from The Washington Post: 'I've always known I was different: Four Trans People Share Their Stories', as well as watch one closer to home for those of us here in Virginia: "Becoming the Man I Want to Be: Charley's Gender-Confirmation Surgery", which details a UVA Health patient's journey towards gender-affirming healthcare and gender-confirmation surgery.
To our Transgender community members, we see you and we at UVA Health are here to support you. Let us know how we can help.
Many thanks to Samantha Strong for allowing me to share her graphic.
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