Recognizing International Transgender Day of Visibility

Dear BC Community,

This year Bellevue College will celebrate the 13th annual International Transgender Day of Visibility which occurs on March 31. It’s a day to acknowledge and recognize the many accomplishments and victories of transgender and gender-nonconforming people. It’s also a critical opportunity to deepen our understanding of the threats and challenges they continue to face.

Last year President Biden signed an Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation, and issued a proclamation recognizing Transgender Day of Visibility. Dr. Rachel Levine, the current Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, made history by becoming the first transgender person to hold an office that requires Senate confirmation. She was also recently named one of the ‘Women of the Year’ honorees by USA Today.

But we are currently seeing a wave of anti-transgender legislation proposed—and in some cases adopted—across the country. Transgender individuals are being denied basic rights, access to healthcare, and even potentially facing investigation for simply being a loving family. These measures seek to demean and dehumanize our fellow Americans for being their authentic selves. As a result, many transgender families are upending their lives and moving to different states to protect the wellbeing and safety of their children. For BIPOC transgender individuals also facing systemic racism, the impact is even greater.

When the freedom of one community is assailed, the freedom of all communities is endangered. Hate is a cancer. Wherever and however it appears, we cannot let it go unaddressed.

Please take some time to recognize and express appreciation for the contributions our trans faculty, staff, and students are making to our campus. Deepen your understanding of trans history and their contemporary struggles. Explore how you can be a better ally. Together we can strengthen our shared community and make BC a more welcoming, and equitable, place for all.

Gary Locke

Interim President

Last Updated March 21, 2022