• Transgender flag waving in blue cloudy sky, 3D rendering

Transgender Day of Visibility Turns into Month-Long Celebration

Eve Kucharski
By | 2018-02-26T22:32:47-04:00 February 26th, 2018|Michigan, News|

Nine years ago, founder of Transgender Michigan Rachel Crandall-Crocker took her advocacy a step further – she created the International Transgender Day of Visibility. The March 31 holiday has since been celebrated all across the world, even in spots where being openly transgender is prohibited by law. Now, Crandall-Crocker has decided that it deserves a month-long celebration.
“A statewide event is really what I’m aiming for. I want to have a calendar of events all over Michigan,” Crandall-Crocker said. “Grand Rapids does a great visibility week, and they’re partly responsible for inspiring me to do a whole month. On visibility day, they’re having someone drive down to my area, pick me up and drive me all the way to Grand Rapids, and I’m the main speaker for their event.”
And, events like that peppered throughout the month is what Crandall-Crocker is hoping for. She said that making the needs visible of the thousands of transgender people across the state is of the utmost importance, particularly because of recent changes in legislation.
“I’m also thinking of doing a transgender night on the town. I want to create a safe environment where people, who may not usually go outside, may feel safe,” she said. “I know friends who only go out as their real selves once a year, and what’s going on is even scaring me. With this religious freedom rule, he (Trump) is going to make it so even emergency doctors will not have to work on us.”
Crandall-Crocker said that without the visibility of the transgender community, she fears events like the death of Tyra Hunter in 1995 could become commonplace.
“She was in a car accident and they had to cut off her clothes, and it was obvious that the person had a male part,” Crandall-Crocker said. “The EMT laughed and watched the person die.”
Although she is still planning specifics, she said that the month’s flagship event is already set up.
“It will be Monday, March 26 at 6 to 9 p.m. The event is an open mic,” Crandall-Crocker said. “We always have musicians, poets and last year we had a playwright and an author. And for the Friday of that week we are having a transgender art workshop. It’s kind of a cross between a class and a workshop. However, as opposed to a place like Painting with a Twist, this is going to be much more coming from what’s inside of everyone.”
The flagship event will be held at Five 15 Media Mojo & More, located at 515 S. Washington Ave., Royal Oak. The store can be reached online at five15.net, or by phone at 248-515-2551. For more information about the event, go to http://transstudent.org/tdov.

About the Author:

Eve Kucharski
Writing became my life when I enrolled at Michigan State University's journalism program. In May 2017, I earned my bachelor's degree in journalism with a concentration in electronic news media. I am thrilled to be working as an editorial assistant at Between The Lines.