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TDoV 2024: Read Pieces by 3 IGLYO Trans Member Organisations

March 31, 2024

Happy Trans Day of Visibility 2024!

This year to celebrate #TransDayOfVisibility we asked three of our Member Organisations led by trans folk to write about something which they were passionate about, and which they wanted to bring visibility to.

We are hugely grateful to our members TransAkcija in Slovenia, Trans*parent and Queer & Trans Youth CZ in Czechia, and Transfeminiinit ry in Finland, who submitted an art piece, an article, and a letter respectively to share in celebration of #TDoV2024.

Trans voices continue to be underrepresented and at times ignored, even as attacks on the community rise. This #TDoV we urge you to be an ally, hear trans voices and educate yourself on the lives and experiences of our trans siblings.

Trans people have always been here and their contributions to our movement and communities are numerous and significant. Now is the time to stand with them and hear them.

Discover the three pieces below!

“on visibility”

An art piece with words by neo and visuals by Nuka Horvat from TransAkcija

subject, refractured; and its reflection, a bit too two-dimensional:

when something is visible, it is not necessarily visible from every angle in the same way, nor is it necessarily visible from all angles at all. it is not guaranteed that what is visible is also observed or even observable, and something being observed does not guarantee that something is also understood.

when something is visible, it is visible for some reason and in some way. it becomes visible at a certain time, within a certain context; and something visible always was, at least in principle, first "something" before it became visible.

for something to be "something", one can quickly argue about the wheres, whens, to whoms, hows, and whys concerning the "something". there can be plenty of whats, whys, and hows when something is acknowledged as something; even more so when something is "something" in a way that is outside, beyond, or different than. (cannot have visibility without being seen, watched, glanced at.)

just as "something" is never merely something, gender is never merely gender. how it is done, displayed, and lived, has its own how, why, and where; and these are often dependent on who is watching.

so it would be challenging to pinpoint precisely why visibility this time, to what, whom; when gender itself is being observed.

(i understand how i am perceived when i am gender first. how i “am” then, inevitably, always in relation to how i “may be”. context-invaded.)


so, then; perhaps, visibility to gender as such —

gender, the heavy grey cloud sitting over the sunday lunch table, dripping in soup, seasoned with tradition and responsibility;

gender, the goblin slime monster crawling out from roadside drains and creeping at the bottom of public swimming pools; waiting in line at the post office or selling lettuce at the market on weekends, alien, alienating;

gender, the radioactive spider-mist lurking behind the doors of the clinic, dusting in the medical records or at the sign-up, sign-out, sign-anything, with a taste of power relation asymmetry and agency deprivation;

to gender, the joy-sparkling glimmer swirling in sweat of the flirty queer bodies, in a trance between "the free" and "the close";

gender, the gentle sleep-chuckling doorkeeper, napping between the lines of countless community self-expressions;

gender, an intimate inner interlocutor who listens and responds when it is recognised, unconstrained, included;

gender, a softness that purrs in spaces guided by acceptance;

gender, a force that buzzes and shines and chases its breath as i share myself, as i kiss, as i am close to;

to gender as also this cool thing;

to gender that is always somehow present, among us, never passive,

never merely waiting — expecting —;

never docile or without an agenda;

to gender that we glance at; sometimes to signal that we are seeing, watching, observing, considering;

to gender that we knead, dissect, tear apart, love, hate, reject, celebrate,

to gender that we are doing, undoing, for which we are never passive;

never merely waiting — anticipating —;

never docile or without an agenda

(not to destroy gender, but to watch it evolve).

“Calling on the Czech Republic Prime Minister to End the Forced Sterilization of Trans People”

An article by Trans*Parent and Queer & Trans Youth CZ

More than a dozen NGOs and thousands of citizens in our initiative "Signature against castration" called on the Czech Government to abolish the inhumane condition of forced-sterilization, which the Czech Republic has long required to legally recognise trans people’s genders, which violates its international obligations. The government is facing several lawsuits over this and the cabinet is facing several official reprimands from the UN, the EU and the Council of Europe. 

More than ten months ago, the Ministry of Justice publicly promised to address the position of trans people and to abolish the forced-sterilization condition to access legal gender recognition. Although the law has been written and was supposed to be submitted for inter-ministerial comment, nothing has happened since. 

The Czech Republic thus remains one of the last countries in Europe to require this inhumane condition to access legal gender recognition . 

"It's time to act!" said more than a dozen organisations, including LGBTQ+ rights organisations such as Prague Pride and Trans*parent, as well as Amnesty International, in a letter to the Prime Minister against castration. 

"We are writing to you as Prime Minister, but also as President of the Civic Democratic Party, to make good on the promises of your ministries, to respond to the demands and criticisms of international institutions, and to avoid complicated lawsuits against the Czech state. With every day of your inaction on this issue, transgender people in the Czech Republic suffer and the country you lead as Prime Minister falls short of the values of the European Community."

The practice where people are forced to undergo irreversible sterilization to change their official gender records to match their true identity is cruel. The need to undergo irreversible surgical procedures involving the removal of reproductive organs is a gross violation of human rights and violates the fundamental right to integrity and equality.

According to current research by the National Institute of Mental Health, 90% of trans people in the country are dissatisfied with this condition for legal gender recognition and would like to see it changed. 

Removing the forced-sterilization condition would simplify an unnecessarily complicated process and allow transgender people to live with documents that are appropriate to their inherent identity, appearance and self-presentation. It would also take away the considerable pressure on young transgender people to undergo irreversible medical interventions on the threshold of adulthood in order to obtain official recognition of their identity, a decision no young person should have to face.

For example, Jenny Rinn, an influencer we have been in contact with, who fulfilled the forced-sterilisation condition in order to officially change her documents to match her identity, speaks openly about her experience. However, it almost cost her her life. "The operation didn't go as easily for me as it should have. I had complications from the start, waking up in a pool of blood," she said in an interview.

For Alex, another young woman with whom we are also in contact, complications occurred just days after the operation. However, despite the intense pain she experienced after the operation, she felt a sense of relief with the vision of new and the right documents. However, she adds that it "should be everyone's choice".

As an organization, we stand behind Alex, Jenny and many others who are in various ways put at risk because of forced-sterilization condition. For several years now, we have been actively communicating with politicians about the situation, informing the public and doing everything we can to ensure that trans people in the Czech Republic do not face pressure to undergo irreversible suppression of their reproductive function as a way to redeem their human dignity and their own identity. 

“On the Importance of Giving Visibility to Trans Artists”

An opinion piece by Comms & NGO Expert Matias Hyvärinen (He/him) from Transfeminiinit ry

Trans day of Visibility is celebrated on 31 March 2024. I’m honoured to be invited to write my letter today and for the #TDOV2024 we at Transfeminiinit ry are going focus on trans artists and lifting up our wonderful illustrators and graphic designers who make our work so much more joyful and bright. But before getting into that, who are Transfeminiinit ry (or Transfeminines NGO in English) and what do we do?

We are a Finnish NGO focusing on trans related issues and offering peer support for our community. As the name of our organization suggests, our focus is on creating a better quality of life for trans women and trans feminine individuals, but our goals include bettering life of all trans people and intersex people in Finland and Europe. Since our founding in 2020, our main office has been based in Tampere, but we organize support groups and other activities across the country, as well as remote services for individual support and legal consultation.

In our everyday-work we find it important to help trans individuals on different levels and on different parts of their lives. We offer peer support groups, legal consultation, a dance course for queer youth, board game nights and remote chat sessions. I could go on about all the wonderful things we offer for trans persons or the advocacy work we do to make a difference in laws and decision-making, but on this Trans Day of Visibility I want to bring the focus to the members of trans community in professional setting and giving more space to the wonderful artists, designers and other professionals I have had the pleasure of working with when building the communications, identity and social media presence for our organization.

The work to better the lives of trans individuals is not only about changing the laws and lobbying the decision-makers, but also about creating opportunities for our community to shine whenever possible. Especially during this time when jobs are hard to get and hate towards LGBTQIA+ community is on the rise, it is most important that we look after our own and use the talent our community has. Giving the platform and visibility to our own community and creating work opportunities to help represent us is part of our job along the important services we offer to our peers and the advocacy work we do.

One of our aims as professional organization is to support professionals who are part of trans or gender minority groups, or other marginalized groups by getting them involved. As a communications expert working in LGBTQIA+ space I think that using illustrations and graphics made by members of our own community should be the norm. After all, it is one of the best ways to support and lift our community and make the wonderful trans work more visible. 

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