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It’s International Women’s Day, an event for celebrating women around the world. The Socialist Party of America inaugurated the global holiday in the United States 108 years ago to draw attention to the movement for women’s suffrage. 

While inspired by U.S. politics, it first became an official holiday in Russia under Lenin in 1917 shortly following the October Revolution and the nation granting women the right to vote. International Women's Day wasn't recognized in the United States until Carter declared the week of March 8th to be Women's History Week in 1980. In 2011, Obama proclaimed March would be Women's History Month. The official International Women’s Day event is still unrecognized in the U.S. despite having a worldwide presence.

While it is important to recognize the historical figures of women’s history, International Women's Day imagines something equally powerful: a movement toward a future of women's liberation. By imagining the future, we are appreciating the radical tradition of the holiday. Too often overlooked in these conversations about women’s justice are the transgender women and femmes who may be striving to make changes in their own communities and beyond. 

Simply having their genders recognized is only one small part of these outspoken individuals’ visions. Instead, they dream of a future where we all are free. Here are five incredible trans women and femmes who are powerfully transforming the world around them.

Eli Erlick
Eli Erlick queer trans woman, PhD student, and director of Trans Student Educational Resources.