IN FOCUS Discussion: Transgender Visibility Day

In Focus

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – To this day, transgender people still face horrifying acts of violence and relentless discrimination.

Utah ranks sixth in the nation for the highest suicide rates and nationwide, the current rate of attempted suicide for transgender people is a staggering 51 percent. Each year, International Transgender Visibility Day is recognized on March 31 to celebrate and acknowledge the existence and achievements of people who identify as transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming.

Kelsey Kehoe (they/them), Youth Family and Education Manager at the Utah Pride Center joined ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen on the CW30 News at 7 p.m. for an IN FOCUS discussion about the differences between gender identity/gender expression/sexual orientation, what transitioning entails, how this past legislative session impacted our local transgender community on a mental and emotional level, and how parents/teachers/administrators can better support students who are trans.

Dirk (they/them), Co-Chair for the LGBTQIA Committee for Black Lives Matter Utah shared their lived experiences as a trans person, what it means to be seen, the added layers of marginalization for QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, People of Color) individuals, how cisgender allies can support the trans community, and how parents of cisgender children can educate them about the transgender community.

Nick Arteaga (he/him/they/them), Community Program Coordinator for the Utah Pride Center talked about the data regarding our transgender community, what some of the cultural/legal/economic challenges are for trans people who are trying to live openly and authentically, and the events/campaigns taking place through the Utah Pride Center in honor of Transgender Visibility Day.

The Utah Pride Center will host their flag-raising ceremony on Wednesday, March 31st 9 a.m. at their office at 1380 S. Main Street in Salt Lake City. From 6 to 7 p.m., they will host a virtual event with performers and speakers, which can be viewed on the Stand with Trans Facebook page. Their campaign, “I Am Visible,” aims to add visibility to the transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming community and can be viewed here on YouTube.

To watch the full IN FOCUS discussion with all three guests, click on the video at the top of the article.

Catch IN FOCUS discussions with ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen weeknights on the CW30 News at 7 p.m.

Rosie Nguyen is an award-winning journalist who joined the ABC4 News team as a reporter in January 2018. In September 2020, she embarked on a new journey as the anchor for the CW30 News at 7 p.m. Although she’s not out in the field anymore, she is continuing her passion for social justice and community issues through the nightly “In Focus” discussions.

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