How to find community and celebrate Transgender Day of Visibility

Transgender Day of Visibility was created in 2009 by transgender activist Rachel Crandall-Crocker. According to PBS, it was her goal to create a day separate from Transgender Day of Remembrance, an event focused on transgender joy rather than grief. 

March 31 marks the 15th annual TDOV, which is now internationally celebrated. 

According to Tre Wentling, assistant professor in the WEST department, TDOV celebrates the contributions of transgender people to our culture and honors them for living authentically. 

“In the face of structural violence and anti-trans stigma, braided together by racism, sexism, classism, and other systems of oppression, Trans Day of Visibility is a reclamation. It’s active resistance. It’s about solidarity,” Wentling wrote via email. 

In honor of TDOV, Wentling emphasized of the importance of safe, inclusive spaces for transgender people in Colorado Springs. Below are a few places students looking for community might find support. 

The MOSAIC & LGBTQ+ Resource Center at UCCS provides a safe space on campus for students of all identities. Additionally, the center hosts workshops and trainings related to understanding pronouns, gender-affirming care and restorative dialogue circles. 

Additionally, student organizations like QTPOC & Two Spirit club and the Queer Student Alliance are a great place for transgender and queer people to find community on campus. 

MOSAIC and QTPOC & Two Spirit are teaming up for a space and cowboy themed Pride Prom on April 22 to kick off UCCS’ pride week. 

Queer and transgender students at UCCS can also find support at the wellness center, which offers one-on-one counseling and group sessions, such as the LGBTQIA+ Interpersonal group session. 

Looking off campus, Wentling recommended Inside Out Youth Services community center, a transgender-friendly space for LGBTQ+ youth. “The mission of IOYS is to build access, equity, and power with LGBTQIA2+ youth, ages 13-24,” Wentling wrote. 

IOYS provides in-person and online services for LGBTQ+ youth and parents including educational trainings, mental health support and mentorship programs. 

“IOYS also offers trainings for community members as well as organizations and schools alike – all intended to expand our network of allies, advocates, and accomplices in our goal of building equity,” Wentling wrote. 

The MOSAIC & LGBTQ+ Resource Center and IOYS are currently the only spaces in Colorado Springs designated specifically for LGBTQ+ people. For transgender people in search of community, the spaces are limited, especially for people over the age of 24. 

Luckily, there are other community groups in Colorado Springs that are organized by queer and transgender folk. 

The Colorado Springs Queer Art Club meets monthly to create art and host a queer open mic.  

Queer Skate Colorado Springs is a group that gathers for monthly meetups at local skate parks. 

The Root Center for Yoga & Sacred Studies hosts a Queer Dharma & Yoga for LGBTQ+ and BIPOC Communities class every Saturday. 

Ladyfingers Letterpress is a queer and transgender owned and operated print shop that hosts classes and workshops monthly. 

If you’re searching for transgender-friendly communities, consider connecting with any of these organizations in honor of TDOV.

The Multicultural Office for Student Access, Inclusiveness, and Community at UCCS. Photo by Josiah Dolan