Written by Joe Desiderio, Youth Librarian, Covedale Branch Library and Joe Armstrong, Content Specialist, Marketing, Downtown Main Library
Transgender Day of Visibility is an annual celebration of the transgender community in its achievements and existence. The Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library is joining in recognizing this day by collaborating with transgender organizations, highlighting local members of the transgender community, and providing materials and resources to customers online and across our 41 Library locations.
For Minds of All Kinds
The Trans Advocacy Council of Cincinnati, opens a new window is holding a celebration at the Downtown Main Library, opens a new window for Transgender Day of Visibility from 4-7 p.m. on Thursday, March 31. Celebrate the trans community and meet the local organizations promoting the rights of and supporting the transgender and gender non-conforming community and meet others like yourselves.
In addition to speakers, we will have access to the Library’s Makerspace for making custom buttons, a photographer to take your picture, and an interviewer for the recording booth so you can tell your story as done on “StoryCorps, opens a new window."
Activities will span all of the Downtown Main Library’s North Building and North Building Parking lot. Family, children, friends, and allies are welcome!
Being Seen and Recognized
Participating in the Transgender Day of Visibility is Jay DeFazio. A Library customer and the creator of Inside Out, Jay is an educator, artist, writer, and trans activist from Northern Kentucky. He is an LGBTQ+ curriculum specialist with Inclusio Education Services, opens a new window, and also offers independent consulting to help businesses and organizations better serve the trans and gender diverse community. Jay’s forthcoming book published by “Pride & Joy Press” will be released this summer.
We spoke with Jay ahead of Transgender Day of Visibility about the importance of celebrating and recognizing the transgender community.
How do you plan to celebrate Trans Day of Visibility?
I will be attending the flag raising at city hall in the morning and then participating in the Trans Advocacy Council of Cincinnati’s Transgender Day of Visibility event, opens a new window hosted at the Downtown Main Library.
Why you do you think it’s important to celebrate Trans Day of Visibility and the transgender community?
TDOV is important for every trans person because of visibility: being “seen” is such a vital part of the human experience. Recognition by others, even in something as small as a smile from a stranger, is a reminder that we are alive, a valuable part of humanity.
In contrast, the transgender experience begins in isolation with an interior self-realization. We are not truly seen by others unless we divulge this information or begin the process of aligning our exterior existence with our interior identity.
Of course, not every trans person has the luxury or the desire to be seen in the literal sense of the word; for many folks it’s a matter of personal safety. Yet this day is all the more important for those living secretly. It’s my hope that those individuals can still find an interior sense of celebration, being visible if only to themselves: know that you are beautiful, valuable, and you are seen by your community.
For trans individuals who do have the ability to walk out of their homes every day and take part in the world, expressing the truth of who they are: reach out to those who can’t and let them know they are visible, loved, and supported.
What are some local organizations that support the trans community?
There are many in the Cincinnati area: Trans Advocacy Council, Heartland Trans Wellness, Transcendence, Crossport, Transform, Northern Kentucky Pride, PFLAG, Black Transmen of Ohio, and many, many more. There are also several private Facebook groups of these organizations and others.
What books, movies or TV shows do you recommend that celebrate the trans community?
I really enjoy the poetry of trans poet Barbara Marie Minney from Akron, Ohio. Recently I met two other trans authors and I’m currently reading their books: Jules Machias’ “Both Can Be True” (for young readers), and Theresa Miles’ “Hiding in Plain Sight.”
All Are Welcome
The Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library is a safe space where your gender identity, the people you love, and you are valued and celebrated. During Transgender Day of Visibility and throughout the year, all 41 Library locations will have hand-picked displays of books, music, movies, and more for customers to explore.
Visit the Library’s LGBTQIA+ Resources webpage, opens a new window for local, regional, & online resources curated by library staff. This includes staff lists of Library materials, links to local support groups, opens a new window and community organizations, opens a new window, and Queer Gabby, opens a new window, a way to get your questions about LGBTQIA+ library and community resources answered by the Library’s staff! Find information on LGBTQIA+ books, music, podcasts, movies, opens a new window, history, and connections to community support organizations.
How do you plan to celebrate Transgender Day of Visibility? Let us know in the comments below!