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Transgender Day of Visibility Recap

On March 28, Kuaʻana Project, HHHRC’s Transgender Services program, hosted members of Oʻahu’s transgender community and its allies for sign-waving and a rally to mark Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) in Hawaiʻi. Over 200 attended. 


TDOV is dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide. Last year’s event was reportedly the largest community gathering at the Capitol in 2023. 


“We are grateful for the relatively recent progress in terms of our state’s non-discrimination laws and civil rights protections. However, many in our community continue to struggle with access to gender-affirming care. We also face ongoing social and structural stigma that negatively impacts the health and well-being of trans people across the state. This includes access to stable housing and steady employment,” said Maddalynn Sesepasara, HHHRC’s Transgender Services Manager. 


Rep. Adrian Tam and Sen. Chris Lee, Co-Chair of the legislature’s Equality Caucus, addressed the crowd, with Sen. Lee presenting Kua'ana Project with a legislative certificate.  


“TDOV is a day when we celebrate and advocate for our transgender friends to take up space and thrive. We in the community must be fierce advocates and soldiers on the front lines fighting hate and discrimination,” said Rep. Tam.  


The rally also included remarks from a Kua'ana Project client. Students involved with Spill the Tea Café, founded by HHHRC Board Member Haylin Denison, LCSW, also delivered inspiring words to the crowd. 


The event concluded with participants gathering in a circle and singing Hawaii Aloha.   


According to the online Trans Legislation Tracker, 527 anti-trans bills in 41 states were introduced in 2024, with 15 bills in 8 states passed so far. All 5 bills introduced in Hawaiʻi did not receive a hearing. In 2023, 600 bills across 49 states were introduced, with 87 passed in areas related to health care, education, sports, and creative performances. 2023 marked the fourth consecutive year that a record was reached. 

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