Skip to content

Institutional Office of Equity and Inclusion

Transgender Day of Visibility Statement

Today is the 2023 International Transgender Day of Visibility and we wish to mark this day by reaffirming our unequivocal support for and solidarity with the transgender community.

Transgender Day of Visibility is bittersweet. On the one hand, it gives us all the opportunity to stand in the joy of living as one’s authentic self. It reminds us to honor the many contributions that the transgender community has made – to the University of Rochester, to the United States, and to the world. We celebrate the legacies of Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, Miss Major, Dr. Alan Hart, Roberta Cowell, Willmer “Little Axe” Broadnax, Osh-Tisch, Renée Richards, Pauli Murray, Albert Cashier, Coccinelle, Dr. Michael Dillon, Lili Elbe, We’wha, Carlett Brown Angainlee, Monica Roberts, and countless others.

On the other hand, the very title betrays an unfortunate fact: living out loud as a transgender or gender-diverse person has never been entirely safe in the United States, and seldom has it been safe anywhere else in the world.

Over the past several days, the public has seen overt demonstrations of the dangers that the transgender community has faced for centuries. Searching for a scapegoat, there are many who have chosen to vilify the transgender community to avoid talking about the very real issue of escalating gun violence. The alarming rise in anti-LGBTQ rhetoric, policy, and legislation, both here in the United States and around the world, is deeply troubling.

To the transgender, non-binary, and gender-diverse members of the University community, we want to reassure you that this Office and all those throughout the institution who work to promote, diversity, equity, and inclusion, see and celebrate you no matter where you are in your gender exploration.

Being true to who you are isn’t always easy, but it is a key ingredient to a fulfilling life. Today, and every day, we have a choice: we can vilify those who dare to be different, or we can join our trans friends, family, and colleagues as they experience the joy of authentic self-expression. Today, and every day, we can choose love.

Sarah C. Mangelsdorf
G. Robert Witmer, Jr. University Professor
University of Rochester

David Figlio
Provost and Gordon Fyfe Professor of Economics and Education
University of Rochester

Mark Taubman, M.D.
University of Rochester Medical Center

Adrienne Morgan, Ph.D.
Interim Vice President for Equity and Inclusion
University of Rochester