Several leaders in the trans community in the Rio Grande Valley are preparing this week for this year’s recognition of Trans Day of Visibility (TDOV). The celebration in McAllen is one of the major RGV LGBTQ gatherings for the first half of 2019.

“Trans Day of Visibility’s purpose is to take a day to not only celebrate our transness, but to also bring light to our community which faces discrimination due to lack of awareness,” Chase Alpha, an organizer for TDOV and a leader for the local trans support group RGV Trans Folx.

International Transgender Day of Visibility was founded in 2009 by Rachel-Crandall of Michigan, and this year marks ten years of this important celebration that aims to bring visibility to the trans community. Alpha tells us that the three events on Saturday will help make the trans community more visible in the RGV.

“Saturday’s events consist of activities that make us visible to the community around us that may think we don’t exist or are too few to make a difference. We are marching with our flags held high to show how proud we are to exist and be a part of such a united and passionate community.”

The first event will kickoff at 7 PM at Archer Park in McAllen, as people will be gathering there for the start of a march that will head towards The Gremlin, where the celebration will continue with a night of live music.

“We chose to host at The Gremlin because it is a queer owned establishment and is a great hangout spot,” Alpha noted.

TDOV will then continue with a drag show at Cine El Rey hosted by The Flaming Marys’ Cabaret. At this event, 50% of all the money raised will go towards supporting LGBTQ asylum seekers, according to Alpha.

For Alpha and leaders who are putting these events together, it’s important that allies come out and support the trans community, especially during the march and the current political climate.

“Marching with us if you are cisgender shows others that we have support in a society that can sometimes not be so accepting,” Alpha said. “It normalizes who we are and shows that you love your trans siblings!”

This is an event that Alpha is incredibly proud of this year’s TDOV and his hope is that people who attend will find that a community is here that is waiting for them with open arms.

“We hope that those who are trans and attend leave feeling they have a community that loves them, sees them, and respects them!” Alpha said. “We hope that those who are not trans and attend take that opportunity to stand with us, and remembers that we exist, that we are your neighbors, your coworkers, your friends, and your family. We are everywhere and we deserve our rights just like everyone else does.”

Thank you to Chase Alpha for reaching out to us about this important event and providing all this great information.