It’s International Transgender Day of Visibility, which has been celebrated for 14 years.
The day was founded by transgender activist Rachel Crandall of Michigan in 2009 as a reaction to the lack of LGBTQ+ recognition of transgender people, citing the frustration that the only well-known transgender-centered day was the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which mourned the murders of transgender people, but did not acknowledge and celebrate living members of the transgender community.
In 2023, a despicable fraction of our country is working to make transgender people entirely too visible, in terrifying and destructive ways. This makes it even more important to, as Wikipedia says above, “acknowledge and celebrate” the living trans people doing great work.
I’m completely aware that there are hundreds of extraordinary trans organizations doing terrific work for trans safety and trans rights, and I know other people are identifying and uplifting all of them. Nonetheless, what I want to do here is celebrate an organization which combines trans (and LGBT) rights and freedoms with the ecological and nature-based work that directly affects all of us.
The organization known as Queer Nature
dream[s] into what queer ‘ancestral futurism’ and other alternatives to modernity could look like through mentorship in place-based skills with awareness of post-industrial/globalized/ecocidal contexts. Place-based skills include naturalist studies/interpretation, handcrafts, “survival skills,” and recognition of colonial and Indigenous histories of land and are framed in a container that emphasizes listening and relationship building with ecological systems and their inhabitants.
Founded by Pinar Sinopoulos-Lloyd and So Sinopoulos-Lloyd (both of whom use they/them pronouns), Queer Nature is based in Washington State, though it started in the Intermountain West. So’s photograph is at the top of this post. Its site has information on the indigenous and natural history of both locations. Offerings are limited in 2023 due to death of a parent and attendant family responsibilities; they include skillshares, stealthcraft (“blending in to your surroundings, going unnoticed, and collecting strategic information about your environment”), anti-oppression work for people engaged in nature connection and/or social justice, and much more.
Just reading the website is like a window into how differently we can live. Projects like this deserve visibility both in the context of transgender visibility and in the context of alternate ways to occupy the planet. Thanks to the Sinopoulos-Lloyds and their team for continuing this great work, and wishes for their family to recover well from the current loss.
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