Celebrating International Transgender Day of Visibility

Today, we celebrate International Transgender Day of Visibility 2019! It’s a day when we recognize and honor transgender people who’ve had the courage and bravery to come out and live openly and honestly. It’s a moment when we can recommit ourselves to the work still to be done so that those ahead of us can live in a better world.

And while today is a special day, I want you to know that everyone at Garden State Equality is working every single day of every year to lift up and protect transgender New Jerseyans.

In the last year alone, Garden State Equality has passed several critical protections:

  • We passed the the Babs Siperstein Law, which allows transgender New Jerseyans to update their birth certificate gender marker without burdensome or invasive medical restrictions. It also establishes a new third gender marker status for non-binary people. The NJ MVC will be rolling out changes for driver’s licenses later this year. We also secured gender identity death certificate equality to ensure dignity for transgender people at the end of their life as well.

  • We established the first-in-the-nation Interagency Transgender Task Force, bringing together state agencies and several community organizations to identify and assess societal and legal barriers facing transgender people and to prescribe legislative and other solutions. Later this week, we will announce a series of public hearings where you can share your experiences and help the Task Force focus its efforts.

  • In partnership with other non-profits, we passed the second-in-the-nation LGBTQ-Inclusive Curriculum Law, which will bring transgender representation into the classroom and ensure our youth learn about the life and legacy of people like New Jersey’s transgender trailblazer Babs Siperstein.

Additionally, with our programmatic work, we’re building safer schools in communities across the state by assisting local school boards in implementing NJ Department of Education guidelines for transgender students to ensure a safe and affirming environment.

Moreover, we are partnering with healthcare providers, hospitals, and insurance companies to develop transgender-inclusive services and ensure no transgender New Jerseyan is denied transition-related care.

Here are some quick actions you can take right now to support transgender New Jerseyans:

  • Share our Transgender Day of Visibility post on Facebook or Twitter to show your support! Use the hashtag #TDOV to spread your message.

  • Contribute to Garden State Equality so that we can continue running our critical programs and keep passing laws that protect transgender New Jerseyans.

  • Sign up to volunteer and be a part of our grassroots team that’s making change.

Our community is incredibly diverse, and I’m so proud to be a part of it. Your support is what allows us to do this important work every day. So, thank you for being a part of this movement alongside me—and for everything you do to support transgender New Jerseyans.

In solidarity,

Aaron Potenza
Director of Policy
Garden State Equality