Celebrating Trans Day of Visibility 2024 at UCL

The trans flag flying on UCL’s Portico building
The trans flag flying on UCL’s Portico building
31 March is International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV), a day dedicated to raising visibility and awareness of trans and non-binary people worldwide. Explore our range of key resources including networks and support.

Foreword from Jayne Flowers, Co-chair of UCL’s Trans Network and of UCL’s LGBTQ+ Equality Steering Group

International Transgender Day of Visibility began in 2009 as an opportunity to celebrate and uplift Trans voices, where previously there was a recognisable lack of that kind of affirmation and empowerment at an international scale.  

The very existence of a transgender person is often treated, in popular culture, like a mythical folk devil to fuel community-dividing moral panics. In a social climate where someone can deny my right to existence to my face, I try to keep myself buoyant with the joys I and my community experience. After all, Trans joy can be revolutionary in and of itself. 

I would like to use this space to think of some trans joys. I also find the joys listed below extend beyond the trans experience, so I hope we all can share in them. They are of no particular order and the list could go on forever, so I’m choosing to highlight just a few of my favourites.  

A list of joys: 
  • The perfect haircut 
  • A song you can’t get enough of 
  • The kinship found in friends and family  
  • Looking in the mirror and the reflection smiling back 
  • Finding the perfect pair of shoes 
  • A favourite colour  

This list may seem a bit abstract, but I invite everyone to see joy in the broader concepts of life. 

To conclude, I would like to defer my final thoughts to someone far more eloquent than myself. This is a quote I think of often and, despite the nuance of life whether you are transgender or not, I hope it brings you the same sense of joy.  

" "I cannot put a price on the wonder of being at peace with who I am, and of living my life as my whole, authentic self. I believe we all deserve a chance at that happiness." 
- C. N. Lester, Trans Like Me, 2017, ix.


Networks and resources

UCL’s Trans Network is for staff and mature and PhD students at UCL who identify as trans (including non-binary, genderqueer and all’other identities not identical with the gender assigned at birth). It provides peer-support, a space for trans students to find trans mentors and for all trans people to connect across UCL and discuss and find help with common issues that we are facing. 

Students’ Union UCL’s Trans* Students Network provides an opportunity for students self-defining as Trans* to be part of a community of their peers, providing events, educational resources and the platform to challenge and campaign against discrimination, oppression and inequality faced by themselves or others. Similarly, Students’ Union UCL’s LGBTQ+ Network is closely related to and collaborates with the Trans Network. Trans* students are encouraged to join both networks and enjoy the support and events of both. 

Students’ Union UCL’s Gender Expression Fund provides financial assistance for students to purchase items that will make them more comfortable with their gender presentation and, we hope, improve their wellbeing. 

UCL Student Support and Wellbeing have listed information and support for LGBTQ+ students , including our policy and guidance for those transitioning gender. 

UCL’s LGBTQ+ Equality Steering Group is open to all lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer staff and those interested in promoting LGBTQ+ equality at UCL, and also steers the Out@UCL staff social network. 
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