President Joe Biden is the first person holding that office to issue a proclamation for the International Transgender Day of Visibility.
“Today, we honor and celebrate the achievements and resiliency of transgender individuals and communities,” it begins. “Transgender Day of Visibility recognizes the generations of struggle, activism, and courage that have brought our country closer to full equality for transgender and gender non-binary people in the United States and around the world.”
Transgender Day of Visibility has marked the many contributions of the transgender community since the holiday was created in 2009 by Rachel Crandall Crocker, a Michigan activist. The March 31 salute is now celebrated outside the United States, too.
Biden’s proclamation mentions the discrimination that trans people face in everything from employment to healthcare, along with the constant threat of harassment and violence.
“Vice President [Kamala] Harris and I affirm that transgender Americans make our Nation more prosperous, vibrant, and strong,” the proclamation reads. “I urge my fellow Americans to join us in uplifting the worth and dignity of every transgender person.”
On March 24, Dr. Rachel Levine became the first openly transgender person to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. She’s the new assistant secretary of health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The president also used the proclamation to advocate for passing the Equality Act, which would “provide long overdue Federal civil rights protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity [and] deliver legal protections for LGBTQ+ Americans in our housing, education, public services, and lending systems.”
And Biden saluted transgender people serving in the military.
This morning, the Associated Press reported that the Pentagon was going to overhaul its anti-trans policies.
On his first day in office, Biden signed the Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation.