What is the Transgender Day of Visibility?
The International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) takes place annually on March 31. This annual celebration was actually started by local metro Detroit social worker and transgender social justice activist Rachel Crandall-Crocker. It is a day to celebrate the transgender community in all its diversity, a day for transgender people to be recognized, and for cisgender people to celebrate the transgender community. It is a day of celebration, rather than a day of remembrance (which is annually observed November 20).
Best Clinical Practices
As the co-chair of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Student Initiative (WSI), I am keenly aware of the importance of the WPATH Standards of Care (SOC) for providing culturally competent care to the transgender and gender-nonconforming community. It is vitally important that clinicians operate under the most recent SOC (V7) to avoid pathologization and harm since the standards of care advance rapidly for those who serve this population.
WPATH outlines four critical competencies for those working with transgender and gender non-conforming clients (WPATH, n.d.).
- Professional Responsibility: clinicians strive to create safe and affirming environments for their transgender and gender non-conforming clients by identifying gaps in their personal knowledge.
- Caregiver/Care Receiver Relationship: caregivers strive to understand and respond to perceived power and balance in the relationship by using evolving language and terminology and understanding gender identity of one facet of an entire identity.
- Interdisciplinary Practice: caregivers strive to understand and address a lack of medically competent knowledge in particular areas of medicine as well as attitudinal problems linked with transphobia within the medical system. Caregivers collaborate with and implement the expertise of professionals in various health disciplines.
- Content Knowledge: caregivers strive for a deep but fluid understanding of their discipline to effectively treat transgender clients. Caregivers also strive to understand general healthcare across the lifespan for transgender people, including primary care, mental health, hormone therapy, and surgery. Finally, caregivers strive to incorporate the voice of the care receiver with scientific evidence-based practices.
How Can I Make an Impact Outside of Practice?
Crandall-Crocker is also the co-founder of Transgender Michigan, a state-wide advocacy and support organization that started in 1997, which aims to educate Michigan about gender identity and expression as well as injustices faced by transgender individuals.
Also, Fair and Equal Michigan, a non-partisan ballot committee is currently gathering petition signatures for those supportive of amending the state’s Elliot Larsen Civil Rights Law. Currently, state law does not prohibit housing or employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
WPATH. (n.d.). A vision of core competencies for care givers serving transgender and gender nonconforming people. Retrieved from PDF.
Jared Boot, MA (’19) is a first year doctoral student at MSP.