On Wednesday, President Joe Biden
signed a presidential proclamation declaring March 31 as Transgender Day Of Visibility amid a wave of anti-trans bills flooding statehouses in recent weeks. 

"Today, we honor and celebrate the achievements and resiliency of transgender individuals and communities," Biden said in the official proclamation. 

"Transgender rights are human rights — and I’m calling on every American to join me in uplifting the worth and dignity of transgender Americans. Together, we can stamp out discrimination and deliver on our nation’s promise of freedom and equality for all," Biden wrote on Twitter. 

In the proclamation, Biden wrote that the day will recognize the "generations of struggle, activism, and courage that have brought our country closer to full equality for transgender and gender non-binary people in the United States and around the world."

The work of those in the past, he added, has allowed millions of transgender people to live "openly and authentically" and noted that the process is "shaping an increasingly accepting world in which peers at school, teammates and coaches on the playing field, colleagues at work, and allies in every corner of society are standing in support and solidarity with the transgender community."

Biden explained that even as acceptance grows nationwide for trans people, there has been a wave of backlash. In the last month, more than 10 states have considered bills that would ban trans teens from participating in sports and the ACLU has cataloged dozens of other bills across the country that would restrict, or allow organizations to restrict, trans people from access to services. 

According to the ACLU, many of the bills explicitly target transgender and nonbinary people for discrimination by "criminalizing healthcare for transgender youth, barring access to the use of appropriate facilities like restrooms, restricting transgender students’ ability to fully participate in school and sports, allowing religiously-motivated discrimination against trans people, or making it more difficult for trans people to get identification documents with their name and gender."

Other states are passing laws that will stop local communities from putting protections in place for trans or non-binary people. 

On Monday, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem signed two anti-transgender executive orders that will ban trans girls and women from participating in sports from kindergarten through college. 

"In spite of our progress in advancing civil rights for LGBTQ+ Americans, too many transgender people — adults and youth alike — still face systemic barriers to freedom and equality.  Transgender Americans of all ages face high rates of violence, harassment, and discrimination," Biden wrote in the proclamation. 

"Nearly one in three transgender Americans have experienced homelessness at some point in life.  Transgender Americans continue to face discrimination in employment, housing, health care, and public accommodations.  The crisis of violence against transgender women, especially transgender women of color, is a stain on our Nation’s conscience," he added. 

Biden explained that his administration signed an executive order on his first day that centered on combating gender and sexual orientation discrimination while also nominating Rachel Levine, the first openly trans American federal official to be confirmed by the United States Senate. 

The Biden administration has also taken measures to end discrimination with housing, credit and lending services, veteran affairs and more.

He also said Congress needs to pass the Equality Act in order to provide federal civil rights protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. 

"Vice President Harris and I affirm that transgender Americans make our Nation more prosperous, vibrant, and strong. I urge my fellow Americans to join us in uplifting the worth and dignity of every transgender person. I call upon all Americans to join in the fight for full equality for all transgender people," he wrote.

Harris herself released a message on Facebook noting the significance of the day. 

"Transgender rights are human rights. Today, in honor of transgender Americans everywhere, the President signed a proclamation to recognize March 31 as #TransgenderDayofVisibility. We see you, and we will always stand up for you," she wrote. 

In a statement, Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David said the day was important to recognize the "determination it takes for transgender and non-binary people to be living openly and authentically today."

"Transgender people are our friends and family, our neighbors and our colleagues — and, like all of us, simply want to live their lives every day as who they are," David said. 

"However, even as we celebrate International Transgender Day of Visibility, we must recognize and remember that there are many trans and non-binary people in this country, and across the globe, who are not able to safely live their lives as their full selves, as well as those who face discrimination and violence for living openly. Today and every day, we will fight for a world where all transgender and non-binary people are able to lives their lives as their full selves, free from discrimination,” David added. 

The Human Rights Campaign stated in a release that there are 192 anti-LGBTQ bills under consideration in state legislatures right now.

More than 90 of those are specifically targeting transgender people, and four states have sent anti-transgender bills to their governor's office.

The organization also recorded at least 44 deaths of transgender and gender non-conforming people in 2020, the most of any year since they began tracking the statistics in 2013. Many of these killings involved Black trans women.

There have already been 12 deaths this year, according to their data.