With Transgender Day of Visibility right around the corner, a Red Deer nonprofit group is already starting the celebration.
“It’s important to be visible for the people in our community who can’t be,” said Bobbi-Jo L’Hirondelle, Transgender and Non-Binary Aid Society board chair.
“Whether they have horrible home situations or school situations, wherever their journey may be, it’s really important to see visibility represented properly in our community.”
Throughout the month, TANAS is commemorating Transgender Day of Visibility, which is March 31, in various ways.
On Saturdays, members and supporters of TANAS are gathering at Junktiques Home Decor in downtown Red Deer, where people are encouraged to draw supportive messages on the sidewalk or the store’s windows. There are $2 transgender flags on sale – all proceeds go towards TANAS. Cash donations will be accepted as well.
Additionally, throughout the month, TANAS will post recommendations for books, documentaries and movies that support gender diverse individuals. Video interviews with gender diverse Albertans will be posted every Sunday as well. All of this can be found at www.facebook.com/transandnonbinaryaidsociety.
It’s “extremely challenging” for somebody to come out as transgender, said L’Hirondelle.
“You have to be ready to tell your entire family and be ready to come out. Coming out is a daily struggle too, because you have to come out daily sometimes,” she said.
“There’s lots of discrimination still in our community as well. It’s hard being gender diverse. There’s a lack of education around being gender diverse, so with that lack of education, people react out of a place of hate.”