A community BBQ is planned in Brisbane to mark the International Trans Day of Visibility this weekend.
Since 2009, March 31 has been recognised around the world as the Trans Day of Visibility, with an aim to celebrate the diversity of the transgender community and raise awareness of the work still needed to end the discrimination and violence still faced by trans people worldwide.
This year’s theme is “surviving and thriving” (#TransThriving), acknowledging achievements of the transgender community in the past 12 months.
In Brisbane, community group Many Genders One Voice are holding a BBQ in Roma Street Parkland to mark the day.
The BBQ event is free and open to everyone from 12pm until 3pm that day. Find more information on the Facebook event here and look for the pink, white and blue balloons on the day to find the event in the park.
“It’s about celebrating transgender, gender diverse and non-binary lifestyles and raising awareness to the wider community that we are out there, and the specific health needs that we have,” organiser Dylan Barrett told radio station 4ZZZ.
“Some of us aren’t visible any other day of the year, and it gives people that opportunity to engage with others in the community when they may otherwise not.”
Many Genders One Voice is a local coalition of volunteers from different health service providers, trans support services and social groups, as well as trans community members and allies.
Barrett said Australian transgender people were 18 times more likely to attempt suicide across their lifetime than the wider population.
“Not everyone is able to disclose that they’re trans. We find the more rural and remote you are, the harder it is to find people that understand,” he said.
“When you have family that believe that LGBTI people need to be treated in a certain way, you’re not going to disclose out of fear that they’re going to treat you that way.”
Other LGBTIQ community groups around Australia hold events to celebrate the Trans Day Of Visibility each year.
The University of Queensland’s Ally Network and the UQ Union Queer Collective are holding a picnic this Thursday (March 29) from 11am to noon in the Alumni Court on the university’s St Lucia campus.
If you need someone to talk to, help is available from QLife on 1800 184 527 or online at QLife.org.au, Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, Lifeline on 13 11 14, or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.