Transgender Day of Visibility 2023 celebrated under shadow of anti-trans laws

Jason Knowles Image
Friday, March 31, 2023
Trans Day of Visibility celebrated under shadow of anti-trans laws
Transgender Day of Visibility 2023 is being celebrated even as the community fights back against wave of anti-trans legislation in states across the nation.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- As the transgender community celebrates this year's Transgender Day of Visibility, it is also grappling with legislation considered anti-trans in states across the country.

Music has been Crispin Torres' hobby for 25 years. He is also one of 1.6 million people in America over the age of 13 who identify as transgender.

"I'm a transgender man. I was born in Mexico City, and raised here in Chicago on the south side, and I am a trans activist," he said.

Torres runs the Better World Collaborative, a social justice organization that raises awareness on trans issues, keeps track of anti-trans legislation and helps to fight it.

"There's 355 active anti-trans bills, nationally. It's, it's wild. And then there's over 400 anti-LGBTQ bills," Torres said.

Indiana House Republicans recently approved a bill that would ban all gender-affirming care for minors in the state. That bill now in the hands of Republican Governor Eric Holcomb.

"They can legislate anything that they want, and they'll never legislate us out of existence," Torres said. "Trans visibility, to me, is about creating positive and joyful stories for trans people to see themselves represented in the world."

Torres said he wants people to know that Trans Day of Visibility isn't just a celebration of being trans but also a reminder that trans people are just like everybody else, living everyday lives, juggling friends, family, and careers.

"We're just like any other American, trying to pay our bills and go to work and hang out with their dogs. And be with our families and just contribute to the community," Torres said.

Torres came out as trans about 12 years ago and said there were struggles.

"My family took them a little bit of time, but they, you know, kind of walked with me on the journey and I think most trans people will tell you, even with the most supportive parents, there's a big learning curve," he said.

He also said he's encouraged about overall progress.

"I didn't grow up in a world where I saw other trans young people playing sports, other trans young other trans people, acting other trans people living a life that I didn't know was possible," Torres said. "And so to see them doing that makes me is a reminder as to why I live the life that I live and why I you know why I'm doing the work that I'm doing."

In Illinois, an estimated 43,400 adults and 13,700 teens between the ages of 13 and 17 identify as transgender, according to a report from the Williams Institute at UCLA.