Transgender Day of Visibility(TDOV) is celebrated globally on March 31 in recognition and appreciation of the trans and gender non-conforming community for our resilience, courage,

boldness and authenticity. In Jamaica, and similarly around the world, trans and gender non-conforming people are often forced to exist in the shadows, unable to access critical services and frequently experience discrimination and exclusion because of our gender identity. Our bodies are scrutinized; our very existence contested. On TDOV, we reaffirm our identity, our journey and our pride.

TransWave Jamaica celebrates TDOV this year by reclaiming our spaces, our community and our Jamaica. We are heralding a change, honoring the trans and gender non-conforming people who have paved the way and who continue to give us courage and strength to carry on fighting for our rights as trans people.. We signal, with our flags — the trans flag and the Jamaican flag — our place in the fabric of society and our contribution to nation building.

We reclaim Jamaica. It is ours. We want to thrive here. We want to walk freely — to the park, to the market, to the store — and anywhere else without fear of violence. Jamaica is ours too. Our birthplace, our home and our future. We wave our flags high, an affirmation of our identity as trans and gender non-conforming people, but above all else, as Jamaicans.

Neish McLean

This is an original piece of Transwave Jamaica, a non-governmental organization working to advance the health, welfare and well-being of the transgender community in Jamaica and the Caribbean.