Tag Archives: transgender day of visibility

Transgender Day of Visibility: Honoring Queer Nature

So Sinopoulos-Lloyd, a young person with bulky black hair, wearing khakis and something strapped over their right shoulder

Debbie says:

It’s International Transgender Day of Visibility, which has been celebrated for 14 years.

The day was founded by transgender activist[3] Rachel Crandall of Michigan in 2009[4] 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.


Debbie is no longer active on Twitter. Follow her on Mastodon.

Follow Laurie’s Pandemic Shadows photos on Instagram.


Transgender Day of Visibility: Yoon Ha Lee


Laurie and Debbie say:

Today is the 10th annual Transgender Day of Visibility. In contrast to the better-known Transgender Day of Remembrance, TDOV, as created in 2009 by Rachel Crandall, focuses on the living. With a multitude of excellent choices in front of us, we decided to tell you about Yoon Ha Lee.

Yoon Ha Lee is a Korean-American science fiction and fantasy writer with a B.A. in math from Cornell University and an M.A. in math education from Stanford University. He mines his background in math for his stories and novels, including the acclaimed Machineries of Empire Series. Ninefox Gambit, the first Machineries of Empire novel, won the Locus Award for best first novel in 2017. He lives in Louisiana with his husband and daughter.

We always look for embodied writing here at Body Impolitic, and Yoon certainly delivers. Here’s an excerpt from his flash fiction piece, “The Mermaid’s Teeth”:

… the mermaid was possessed of great determination and creativity. She shaped her words through the tension of her throat, forced them into seduction-verses.

Through all this she combed out her hair. It was beautiful hair and she didn’t see why she should neglect it because of a little bad luck with a sailor. It hung heavy and dark and ripple-sheened. Her lovers had told her that they could see the colors of the sea caught in it, or luminous moon-weave; they had told her about its silk, its salt perfume, the way it tangled them almost as surely as her kisses. The mermaid kept a diary of these compliments, written in the vortices around her island. Only the most ardent and perceptive sailors could navigate those vortices to embrace her.

Ah: here came a sailor. She sang louder, tossing the comb toward him so that the sun flashed against its curve. I wear nothing but the salt spray, she sang. I am cold on my island. Also, as long as it has been for you, I guarantee that it has been longer for me. Come and clasp my cold limbs, come and help me comb out my hair, explore the tide pools of my body.

Richard Dutcher, friend of this blog and occasional poster, has this to say about Lee’s work:

Yoon Ha Lee’s fantasy and space opera are embedded in Korea’s culture and history (which is every bit as deep and complex as any Euro-American country’s). I know some small things about both, but nothing like what people raised in it do. That means I get to read stories unlike the hundreds I have read since I was 5. I don’t know how his characters are going to react, I don’t know what changes he is ringing on old themes, I don’t know what is going to happen! I love that.

For instance, his space-opera empires are built on technologies based on the control of calendars and time-keeping. I have no idea whether that concept comes from someplace in Korean culture, or from Yoon Ha Lee’s own fertile imagination–or both. Perhaps at some convention I will be able to ask him. In the meantime, he offers a sense of wonder I often miss in the tales from the cultures I know best!

Yoon is only one of many, many transpeople who should be more visible today — and every day.