Trans Day of Visibility 2024: Events scheduled for Philly and nearby areas

A trans-pride colored

In an open letter to Philadelphians, Celena Morrision, executive director of the city’s Office of LGBT Affairs, announced the cancellation of the annual Trans Day of Visibility flag-raising event. Morrison did not explain why the event was canceled, but the announcement was made just days after she and her husband, Darius McLean, were arrested during a traffic stop by a state trooper who acted aggressively. 

“Trans Day of Visibility remains a crucial moment to recognize and honor the resilience, achievements, and challenges faced by our transgender community,” Morrison wrote in the letter. 

The trans pride flag will still fly at City Hall from Thursday, March 28 through Sunday, March 31.

“Raising the Trans Flag at City Hall holds profound significance. It is a public declaration of our dedication to creating a more inclusive city that embraces diversity in all its forms,” she added. “By prominently displaying the Trans Flag, we aim to send a powerful message of solidarity, acceptance, and support to our transgender siblings.”

Other local communities across Pennsylvania will be hosting their own flag-raising events — including Reading, Wilkes-Barre, Allentown, and Bethlehem. But there are other ways to participate in Trans Day of Visibility too.

Raise your voice at the capitol 
Support legislation that will make schools safer and more equitable for trans and other LGBTQ+ youth at a rally on the front steps of the state capitol building. The rally’s organizers include TAKE and PA Coalition for Trans Youth, who have been working alongside other partners on bills that currently await vote in the PA State House Education Committee.

“ALL of our kids deserve to learn in safe and equal schools, where their focus can be on their studies, their extracurriculars, and their friends — not on bullying, discrimination, or book bans,” reads the description on the group’s Facebook post.

TDOV Stand Up for Safe & Equal Schools will take place at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27 on 501 North 3rd St., Harrisburg, PA. The LGBT Center of Central PA will be stationed from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m at Elemental Coffee, 815 N Hudson Ave. Stop in before or after the demonstration for giveaways and resources.

Connect with community
Mazzoni Center is hosting an opportunity to add your mark to a “visibility quilt” that will be displayed in the organization’s building. Materials for the project and snacks will be provided.

“You need only bring your own creativity,” explains an email about the event. “Let’s honor Trans Day of Visibility and build a better tomorrow together.”

Mazzoni is also asking for financial support to help patients who face barriers to gender-affirming care. The organization hopes to pilot a program that will offer gift bags to patients beginning a self-injection hormone regimen. The organization hopes to purchase “auto-injector” syringes for disabled and anxious patients. In an email to the community, Mazzoni noted that it takes just $450 to provide 200 gift bags, which will include a month of injection supplies.

The Transgender Day of Visibility Quilt Project will take place 5-8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27 at Mazzoni Center, 1348 Bainbridge St. Contact [email protected] to make a donation.

Support local artists
TransWork is partnering with Philly AIDS Thrift and William Way LGBT Community Center to host a vendor market and fashion show, featuring local trans designers, models and creators. The theme of the fashion show is “Transitioning: Day to Night.”

“TransWork primarily addresses trans experiences in employment and entrepreneurship, but our goals are more holistic around economic opportunity and equity for trans people,” said Sydni Perry-Anderson, who is TransWork’s first full-time staffer. “Since [joining the organization last year], we have been able to develop the program and our partnerships in really exciting ways. Helping to create this type of event is just one example, but it also represents so much more about our program’s impact.”

“This type of event enables more connections and opportunities for Philly-area trans people and their projects/businesses through Philly’s LGBTQ+ and allied business community,” said Perry-Anderson, who underlined that this isn’t the kind of event that requires participants to be members, hold specific credentials, or have any formal status as a business owner. “We are simply asking that all participants/applicants are trans, however they identify with that label.”

The TDoV Market and Fashion Show will take place at 4 p.m. on Friday, March 29 at William Way LGBT Community Center, 1315 Spruce St.

Take to the streets in Philadelphia
Join a demonstration planned by Philly Trans March to demand justice for trans people — especially youth — given the current political climate and to honor the life of Nex Benedict, a trans youth whose recent death has gained national attention due to the transphobia the teen encountered in school.

“This tragedy comes at a time where anti-trans legislation throughout parts of our country have been established [and] in place, putting all trans folk in jeopardy,” the group said in a Facebook post. “We will gather as [a] form of resistance to show that we as a community demand better for our youth and community overall.”

Rise for Trans Lives II: Justice for Nex Benedict — A TDOV Demonstration will take place at 6 p.m. on March 29 at City Hall, 1400 John F Kennedy Blvd.

Take your activism online
If you can’t attend these events, check out what’s happening in neighboring communities — or go online. Post about your favorite trans activists, enjoy a trans-led podcast or a trans-affirming film, donate to a good cause, or take other actions that celebrate trans people.

You can also look for virtual events. Here are a few to consider:

  • The Trans Rights Readathon is back from March 22-29. Participate by reading and reviewing books by and about trans people. There’s even a bingo card for folks who like a challenge. Don’t forget to tag @TransRightsReadathon on social media and use the tags #TransRightsReadathon and #TRR24 to connect with others. For more information, visit:
  • Join Admiral Rachel Levine, assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (and former secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health) for an hour-long fireside chat in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs, Center for Minority Veterans and PrideVA. This Transgender Day of Visibility event will be livestreamed at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 27. To watch, visit:
  • The HiTOPS 2024 Trans Youth Forum is a free virtual conference created by and for trans and nonbinary youth. This year’s theme is “We will not be erased.” Hear from guest speakers — including sports journalist and author of the book “Fair Play,” Katie Barnes, musician Laura Jane Grace of AgainstMe!, and other creatives. This will begin at 11 a.m. on March 30. To register, visit:
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