International Transgender Day of Visibility, celebrated on March 31, is an annual day dedicated to celebrating trans people, their contributions to history and culture, the vibrant intersections of gender with other held identities, and speaking out against the ongoing prevalence of anti-trans discrimination. To our trans and nonbinary community across the nation and the world: we love you, we are here for you, and you are beautiful, incredible, and indispensable.
Join us in celebrating Transgender Day of Visibility with two members of The Trevor Project affinity groups Black@Trevor and Trans@Trevor, Jesse Medina and Marcus Sanders, as they reflect upon the intersections of their identities and the beauty of Black trans joy.
Introduce yourself and your involvement with Black@Trevor and Trans@Trevor.
Jesse: My name is Jesse Medina, my pronouns are he/him/his and I am a Training Associate within the mighty Internal Training Team! I am a proud disabled, Afro-Latino, former military, transgender man! I have had the privilege of being a part of the Trevor family for almost two years, and I have had the pleasure of being a part of Trevor’s first affinity group, Black@Trevor (as well as, Trans@Trevor and soon to be Latinx@Trevor).
Marcus: I’m Marcus (he/him) and I am a very proud trans man. I was hired onto the team in December 2021 and work in the Internal Training department for Lifeline as one of the many amazing Training Coordinators here at The Trevor Project. The reason I chose to work for Trevor was because of the work we do for the LGBTQ community. I think it’s truly inspiring how we all can come together collectively for something that’s greater than ourselves and be the people that we needed when we were young LGBTQ adults. Since being here at Trevor, my involvement with Black@Trevor and Trans@Trevor has truly uplifted my life in ways that I can apply to work and my personal life. I really look forward to being more involved in the future with uplifting Black and queer legacy for both groups!
What does Black trans joy mean to you?
Jesse: Black trans joy means LOVE. Unconditional and unapologetic love for all of the layers that make me! It also means allowing and accepting my variation of Blackness which in turn, creates a space for all of us to exist, love and thrive, simultaneously.
What do you love most about being Black? About being trans?
Marcus: A few months ago I had a conversation on the Black@Trevor channel sharing the things we love most about being Black and it’s so hard to hone it down to one thing for me. So, a few things that I love the most about being Black is: the continuation of culture we bring, our beautiful gravity defying hair, and AAVE (African American Vernacular English).
What I love about being trans is most definitely the sense of community and support that I’ve experienced over the years. Being a person who is transgender before finding my trans siblings, I often found myself in rooms where I would have to check one identity at the door over another, which never felt TRULY inclusive to me. Over time, and with the power of social media, I was able to meet so many people who are like me, that I now call my chosen family.
How do you cultivate joy in your community?
Jesse: I cultivate joy in my community by breaking bread with other community members and not forgetting where I come from, as well as continuing to be proof that we, too, can be happy and deserve happiness. To my community: the biggest flex is knowing that you are enough and will always be enough. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
What does Transgender Day of Visibility mean to you?
Jesse: Trans Day of Visibility is a day where I get to be kinder to myself and appreciate my beauty as a transgender man. This day also allows me to be present and visible not only for myself, but for my community, as well. Trans and non-binary people possess so much love, beauty, expertise and resiliency — make sure to love on a trans or non-binary person extra hard on TDOV!
Sue Cardenas-Soto is a Copywriter at The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and mental health organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, our trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386 via chat www.TheTrevorProject.org/Get-Help, or by texting START to 678-678.