LGBTQ committee hosts Springfield's first 3-day Transgender Day of Visibility event series

·4 min read

A new LGBTQ resource committee is hosting Springfield's first ever three-day Transgender Day of Visibility event series next week.

The newly formulated Springfield Transgender and Ally Resource Team, or START, was created to host the annual Transgender Day of Visibility and Transgender Day of Remembrance events in Springfield. While not a part of one organization, START encompasses representatives from several LGBTQIA+ organizations in town, including Embrace, a transgender support group, The GLO Center, AIDS Project of the Ozarks, PROMO and PFLAG Springfield/SWMO.

Previously in Springfield, Transgender Day of Visibility was only celebrated on the nationally-recognized day, March 31. This year, START is hosting events from Wednesday, March 29 to Friday, March 31.

A protest for transgender rights is scheduled for Wednesday, March 29 from 6-7:30 p.m. at Park Central Square.

On Thursday, March 30, START is hosting a film screening at The Moxie Cinema of the Oscar-nominated web series "Her Story" and locally-produced short film, "Crush." The screening starts at 5:30 p.m. and admission is free.

"Her Story," a set of six nine-minute episodes, tells the story of two transgender women who live in Los Angeles, struggling in both their romantic and professional lives. "Crush" was produced by Missouri State University graduate Hunter Adams. The short film follows a transgender high schooler navigating family, bullying at school and romance. A Q&A panel featuring members of "Crush" will follow the screenings.

The main Transgender Day of Visibility event is Friday, March 31 from 4-8 p.m. at The Barley House at Moon Town Crossing. The event will include art created by local queer artists, live music from musician Athena Kaminksy and various speakers, including District 135 Representative Betsy Fogle and House Minority Leader Crystal Quade.

Jaclyn Cox talks about Ohm's Law while teaching an electrician apprenticeship program on Wednesday, March 30, 2022.
Jaclyn Cox talks about Ohm's Law while teaching an electrician apprenticeship program on Wednesday, March 30, 2022.

START co-chair and Embrace founder Jaclyn Cox said this is the first time in Springfield that Transgender Day of Visibility will be celebrated over the course of several days.

Cox said with the recent passing of anti-transgender legislation, the three-day event is even more important to her.

More:Missouri Senate approves ban on transgender care for minors, excepting current patients

On Tuesday, Republicans in the Missouri Senate passed two bills that would ban gender-affirming care for minors and restrict transgender student-athletes from participating on girls teams in K-12 and collegiate sports.

Senate Bill 49 bans "gender transition surgery" for minors and would require that medical licenses of doctors providing this care be revoked. This bill follows Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey's emergency regulations to halt "experimental gender transition interventions" for minors.

Bailey's regulations would prevent medical providers from offering gender-affirming care if they do not:

  • Ensure the patient has received a full psychological or psychiatric assessment, consisting of at least 15 separate hourly sessions over the course of at least 18 months to determine whether the person has any mental health comorbidities;

  • Treat and resolve any existing mental health comorbidities;

  • Adopt a procedure to track the adverse effects that may arise from gender-affirming procedures for at least 15 years from the start of intervention;

  • Obtain and keep on file informed written consent;

  • Ensure the patient has received a comprehensive screening to determine whether the patient has autism;

  • Ensure, at least annually, that the patient is not experiencing "social contagion" in relation to the patient's gender identity.

More:Missouri AG issues regulations on gender-affirming care for minors as legislature debates ban

Senate Bill 39 restricts transgender student-athletes from playing on sport teams matching their gender identity post-transition. This restriction would be placed on K-12 public schools, private schools, colleges and universities. The bill would allow female students to compete with male students, as long as no other female team is available.

"They're gunning for us and we have to let them know that we're here and we're not going anywhere," Cox said. "We're working in healthcare, at the post office, in construction; we're in your everyday events, whether you realize it or not."

Along with planning and hosting Transgender Day of Visibility, START will plan and host Transgender Day of Remembrance in November. Cox said START committee members also hope to host casual social events throughout the year for the local transgender community.

To volunteer or participate in START activities and events, email co-chair Keisha Messina at

This article originally appeared on Springfield News-Leader: LGBTQ committee hosts 3-day Transgender Day of Visibility event series