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Transgender Day of Visibility: The Value of Visibility

March 31, 2021
Stephanie S.
Stephanie S. (They/She)

Associate, Enterprise Innovation

Today marks Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV), an annual day that celebrates transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people. The goal of TDOV is to increase visibility of trans experiences and attempt to make the world a more trans inclusive place. On this day, we recognize that every single trans person's commitment to being themselves is a tremendous act of self-love.

Much of TDOV's beauty comes not just in seeing the trans community, but in learning more about the ways that visibility means so much for trans people. I should know the value in this visibility because I am a trans woman.

For much of my life I struggled to be seen. I spent many years attached to identities that never really felt right, holding on to things that were given to me, all the while being afraid to explore my own identity for fear of being alone in a world that can treat trans people very cruelly. It hurt me tremendously to not be able to see myself, and it was extremely disillusioning to feel that no one saw me either. Things did get better though, as I have been very lucky and privileged to have access to resources that have allowed me to pursue what I need for my transition. The joy and dignity that my transition has brought me has completely changed my outlook on life for the better.

I am giving all of you this visibility into a very personal part of my life because I find there is a huge value in learning from firsthand experiences, in creating empathy with a real person's life. I feel that trans lives often get buried under news stories and talking points, but I am a real person that deserves to be seen for who I say I am. I am making my story visible to you, because every trans person deserves the right to have their identity be seen and respected. A trans person's identity is not optional, it isn't preferred – it is who they are, and it is our job as allies to make sure we support them in being seen for who they say they are.

Fannie Mae’s Live Openly Employee Resource Group recently launched a Trans Inclusion Initiative to help make our workplace more trans inclusive. This initiative will look to provide suggestions on how we can add more inclusive policies and procedures for trans employees and trans loved ones of employees. Much of the work that needs to be done is ahead of us, but I believe that Fannie Mae remains committed to LGBTQ+ equity.

This TDOV, we should all be challenged to increase visibility of trans stories, in support of the trans community, so that we can further support every trans person in finding joy in their lives. Below are a few resources on how you can be an ally and support trans equality.

At Fannie Mae, you’ll find a team that strives for an inclusive environment and respects diverse perspectives. Search our open opportunities and join our team of Future Makers today.

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