Let's face it, 2016 was a really hard year. But against a backlash of anti-trans bills and rising hate crimes, trans people fought to make their voices heard on television screens, on political stages, and on social media — and in refusing to be silenced, they advocated for trans livelihood and joy.
1. It was a year for victories, like when Tangerine star Mya Taylor won Best Supporting Female Actor at the Spirit Awards and brought the house down with her acceptance speech:
2. And when Lily Madigan, a British trans teen, responded to being sent home for wearing girls’ clothing to school by fighting back — and winning.
“I was being treated like I’d done something wrong,” Lily told BuzzFeed News in October about her experience being sent home from class.
4. When ESPN’s Body Issue featured a trans athlete, duathlete Chris Mosier, for the very first time:
6. Oh, and Benjamin Melzer was introduced to the world after becoming the first transgender man to appear on the cover of Germany's Men’s Health:
7. It was a year for taking action, like when trans people all over the country started taking selfies in public restrooms to protest North Carolina's anti-LGBT law, HB2.
8. When the legendary Laura Jane Grace kicked off her show in North Carolina by burning her birth certificate in front of a soldout crowd:
I guess gender really is over since @LauraJaneGrace said goodbye to gender! #genderisover
“I may not live in the state of North Carolina, but I definitely work in the state of North Carolina and pay taxes in North Carolina — my band has toured though here at least once a year for the past twenty years,” she said of her act of protest.
9. And when one North Carolina man went so far as to hand out business cards to get his point across:
10. It was a year for educating others, like when Laverne Cox opened up about the realities of living as a trans woman of color while responding to a fan's question on Twitter:
11. (And when she, in general, slayed each and every red carpet she came across this year.)
13. And when this little girl's heartwarming reaction to the news one of her parent's is transitioning gave everyone a lot of feelings:
14. It was a year for visibility, like when the six-episode web series Her Story snagged an Emmy nomination:
The moment @la_wa & I & @speed_of_joy found out @HerStoryShow nominated for @TheEmmys @angelicaross @SmartAssJen
The moment the show's head producer, Katherine Fisher, Zak, and star Fawzia Mirza found out about the show’s nomination was too good not be captured on video.