Inspired by no holidays honoring the achievements and contributions of transgender people, activist Rachel Crandall founded International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) in 2009. At the time, the only major day recognizing transgender people was Transgender Day of Remembrance (Nov. 20), which mourns the victims of hate crimes and violence. Transgender Day of Visibility instead celebrates the resilience and success of transgender and gender nonconforming people while raising awareness of transgender rights.
Unum strives to foster a workplace of acceptance and ensure a feeling of belonging for every employee through our Inclusion and Diversity work. Everyone should feel empowered to bring their authentic self to work (virtually or safely in-person) every day. We support all colleagues who identify as transgender.
The LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group works to influence company policy, products, and culture for LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, and all others) employees, customers and partners. It serves as a safe space where the voices of the community can be amplified and help strengthen the company’s culture.
“For many people within the LGBTQ+ community, we spend most of our lives looking to make sure we are safe,” said Benn May, the communications lead for Unum’s LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group. “Though the world has seen progress, there are still many places around the country where it’s not safe to be openly different. Unum is creating a port in the storm for many members in our community. It’s important we feel welcome where we spend the majority of our day, not just for our LGBTQ+ community, but anyone who has faced discrimination and hate,” May said.
While the pandemic has limited in-person celebrations for TDOV 2021, Alphonso David, president of the LGBTQ+ advocacy group The Human Rights Campaign, encouraged people to use the day as an opportunity to learn from the resilience and pride of the transgender community.
“As we celebrate TDOV, we must never forget those who still feel invisible even in their own communities and who may live every day with fear of discrimination or violence, and we must resolve to fight for a world where every transgender and non-binary person is respected and protected,” David said.
To learn more, visit GLAAD’s FAQ hub.