President Joe Biden issued a presidential proclamation commemorating Transgender Day of Visibility on Wednesday, March 31, 2021.
It is the first presidential proclamation in history issued for a day dedicated to celebrating the transgender community, as well as heightening awareness on the attacks, violence, and discrimination transgender people increasingly face on a daily basis. (President Obama recognized Transgender Day of Remembrance while in office, a separate day dedicated to memorializing victims of transphobia.)
“Their trailblazing work has given countless transgender individuals the bravery to live openly and authentically,” Biden wrote of past efforts by generations of transgender activists. “This hard-fought progress is also shaping an increasingly accepting world in which peers at school, teammates and coaches on the playing field, colleagues at work, and allies in every corner of society are standing in support and solidarity with the transgender community.”
Biden addressed “the crisis of violence against transgender women, especially transgender women of color, [as] a stain on our Nation’s conscience,” and noted that his administration has already started to implement policies that would protect trans people, including an executive order issued on the first day of his presidency that would expand discrimination protections for LGBTQ people under federal laws.
The proclamation also mentions Dr. Rachel Levine, the first openly transgender American to be confirmed by the United States Senate, as Assistant Secretary for Health and Human Services, and references Biden’s executive order that undid former President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender service members.
“Patriotic transgender service members are once again able to proudly and openly serve their country,” the proclamation reads.
Biden also urged for Senate passage of the Equality Act. “To more fully protect the civil rights of transgender Americans, we must pass the Equality Act and provide long overdue Federal civil rights protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity,” he wrote. “It will serve as a lasting legacy to the bravery and fortitude of the LGBTQ+ movement.”
He concluded by writing, “Vice President Harris and I affirm that transgender Americans make our Nation more prosperous, vibrant, and strong. I urge my fellow Americans to join us in uplifting the worth and dignity of every transgender person.”
Read the full proclamation here.
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