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Celebrating Transgender Day of Visibility 2022

Category: Equality, Diversity & Inclusion, Diversity & Inclusion, Accenture, LGBTQ+, transgender, gender and sexuality, LGBTQ+ Community, LGBTQIA+ Inclusion and Equality, Transgender in the workplace

LGBTQ+

International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDoV) is marked every year on March 31. It is a time to celebrate transgender people around the globe and the courage it takes to live openly and authentically, while also raising awareness around the discrimination trans people still face.

 

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Visibility has dual benefits. On one side, visibility gives transgender people the hope, strength and inspiration to be who they truly are. It allows younger trans people to find role models that allow them to see people like themselves in the adult lives they aspire to – transgender people with successful careers, transgender people in thriving relationships, transgender people with kids and transgender people with welcoming communities. At the same time, visibility can help change the attitudes of society. It can reduce stigma for trans identities, open people’s minds and help lead us to a more inclusive and equitable society.

Visibility matters, and visible leadership is powerful—which is why I choose to be so open about my own journey. Since my twenties, I’ve made the conscious decision to be out and visible in my life. It was just too painful not to fully embody and reveal who I am. A large part of my life’s work has centered around making it safe for other transgender and non-binary people to live open, full and authentic lives. I feel both privileged and lucky. Privileged – to be white, from a financially secure family and located in the United States where some legal protections exist. Lucky – to be alive, to have survived hateful physical and verbal attacks, and to have access to affirming and inclusive healthcare.

The journey toward living openly and authentically looks different for everyone; and, given the levels of violence and discrimination faced by transgender and gender expansive people around the globe, revealing and expressing one’s gender identity can be a complex and difficult process. One place where transgender people have made large gains in visibility is the workplace. And while many trans people struggle to find work because of discrimination or face harassment at work; for others, work is the only supportive space in their lives. The world is changing – and sometimes that change doesn’t come quickly enough.

I’ve found a home at Accenture where I feel supported as my authentic self. Not only do we have inclusive policies and workplace practices, for example we offer trans health benefits in 16 countries (with more to come), but we have also made great strides to create a work environment where everyone feels seen and safe – enabling us to connect with each other. We encourage each other to have a growth mindset and the courage to stay engaged even when learning is uncomfortable or challenging. For example, it may be a bit uncomfortable or challenging to learn to use “they/them” pronouns for a non-binary colleague, but the ability to do so means that person will feel seen, safe and connected. They will feel respected.

So today, for TDoV, I say to my transgender, non-binary and gender expansive family – be visible where it’s safe to do so. Find your own space where you can be you and work to grow it. Your visibility matters and will inspire others to find their own. Tap into the strength and resilience of our beautiful trans community. You are not alone.

For my cisgender friends and colleagues – you need to get visible, too! Be an active and visible supporter for transgender, non-binary and gender expansive people. Pick up the knowledge you need and shore up your courage. Find your voice and advocate for trans inclusion on your teams, at the watercooler and in your communities.

Together, we can hasten the pace of positive change. We can create a more inclusive and equitable workplace – and world – for trans people and for each other. We can accelerate equality for all.

 

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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