26/02/2017 2:28 AM AEDT

These Beautiful Photos From Around The World Are Elevating Global Trans Identity

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump’s administration rescinded an Obama-era directive requiring public schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

It was a devastating, if unsurprising, blow to a community that has had to adjust to an even more uncertain future under Trump. So HuffPost Queer Voices wanted to provide visibility to the spectrum of transgender identity on a global level in solidarity.

In this 25-photo series from Reuters, we get a look at over two dozen different people from many different cultures, regions and walks of life who identify along the spectrum of trans identity.

Check the photos out for yourself below and keep your eyes peeled for more info about the upcoming SCOTUS case surrounding transgender rights.

  • Penelope Ghartey
    Brendan McDermid/Reuters
    Penelope Ghartey does a one-handed push up at his home in Brooklyn, New York, December 13, 2016. Jodie Patterson's 3-year-old, Penelope, was brooding and angry until one day she asked her child what was wrong. Penelope, who was assigned female at birth, was upset "because everyone thinks I'm a girl," but he said he was really a boy. "I said, 'However you feel inside is fine.'" Patterson recalled from their home in Brooklyn. "And then Penelope looked at me and said, 'No mama, I don't feel like a boy. I am a boy.'" Almost immediately, Patterson embraced the reality that Penelope was a transgender boy, and by age 5 he was going to school as a boy. Today, at age 9, Penelope is happy and healthy as a boy who loves karate and super heroes and decided to keep his birth name.
  • Kate Lynn Blatt
    Shannon Stapleton/Reuters
    Kate Lynn Blatt, a transgender woman, waves the U.S. flag outside her home in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, May 25, 2016. Blatt once lived as a woman at home but went to work in a battery factory as a man, a painful phase in her gender transition that would later propel her to the forefront of a constitutional battle for transgender rights in America. She decided to start over, interviewing as a woman for a new job with the outdoor equipment and apparel retail chain Cabela's Inc (CAB.N), landing it, and finally leaving her life as a male behind. A 6-year transition, starting from when she graduated high school, was finally over. "Oh my God, it was the most liberating thing I've ever experienced in my entire life," Blatt said in an interview in her hometown. "And then slam," she said, smacking a fist into her palm. "Employee discrimination."
  • Laverne Cox
    Lucas Jackson/Reuters
    Actress Laverne Cox walks in a Donna Karan creation during a presentation of the Go Red for Women Red Dress collection during New York Fashion Week on February 13, 2015.
  • Charlie Lowthian-Rickert
    Chris Wattie/Reuters
    Charlie Lowthian-Rickert, 10, who is transgender, is kissed by her father Chris following a news conference announcing that Canada will introduce legislation to protect transgender people from discrimination and hate crimes, on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada on May 17, 2016.
  • Joe Wong
    Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters
    Joe Wong, 31, poses for a photograph at his apartment in Bangkok, Thailand on April 3, 2015. Joe Wong, a 31-year-old transgender man from Singapore, underwent surgery to remove his breasts in 2007 and legally changed his name from Joleen to Joe. He had his uterus removed in 2009, and is legally recognized as a male. Wong is one of the many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Asia who faced abuse and violence from his family. To escape the violence and find acceptance, many LGBTQ people migrate abroad -- including Wong, who moved to Bangkok, where he currently works for rights group the Asia Pacific Transgender Network.
  • Tiffany
    Edgard Garrido / Reuters
    Tiffany, 19, who is transgender, shows a scar of a knife attack in Tegucigalpa, Honduras March 10, 2011.
  • Geraldine Roman
    Romeo Ranoco/Reuters
    Geraldine Roman, a transgender congressional candidate, is greeted by her supporters during a "Miting de Avance" (last political campaign rally) for the national election in Orani town, Bataan province, north of Manila in the Philippines May 6, 2016. Roman won her seat in the Philippine parliament.
  • Vonn Jensen
    Andrew Kelly/Reuters
    Vonn Jensen, a non-binary trans person, presents creations from the AnaOno collection, a show modeled by members of the group #Cancerland, during New York Fashion Week in Manhattan, New York, February 12, 2017. Jensen aims to increase visibility and awareness around the LGBTQ community and cancer.
  • Chahat
    Caren Firouz/Reuters
    Chahat, a member of the transgender community, prepares for Shakeela's party in Peshawar, Pakistan January 22, 2017. At a party in Peshawar, the guests' saris twirled as they danced to the music and fed each other pieces of cake, but armed police guarding the door indicated this was no normal carefree birthday gathering. The revelers were transgender, people who run the risk of violence in conservative Muslim Pakistan where they often work as dancers at weddings and other parties but are rarely allowed to hold their own celebrations. "It's the first time in a decade that we have openly hosted such a function," said Farzana Jan, a leader of Trans Action Pakistan, a campaign group that estimates there are at least 500,000 transgender people in the country of 190 million. City authorities usually refuse permission for transgender parties, and police often raid them.
  • Yiling
    Siu Chiu / Reuters
    Qian Jinfan, an 84-year-old transsexual who prefers to be addressed as "Yiling" holds up a photo taken at the age of 59, in the town of Foshan, Guangdong province, China July 6, 2012. Qian, who told Reuters during an interview that she always felt she was a woman and experimented with hormone cream, tablets and injections at the age of 60, is believed to be the oldest transsexual to live openly in China. The retired Chinese Communist Party official said she would not undergo gender affirmation surgery until it fully guaranteed her a female body that was complete with a woman's bodily functions. She admitted her days may be limited, but hopes that speaking to the media can help break down traditional assumptions and initiate discussions about transsexuals in society. About 2,000 people in China have undergone gender affirmaton surgery and up to 400,000 could be considering one, according to a report in 2009 by state newspaper China Daily.
  • Jenna Talackova
    Mark Blinch / Reuters
    Transgender contestant Jenna Talackova takes part in the Miss Universe Canada competition wearing her evening gown in Toronto, May 17, 2012. Talackova was originally disqualified from the Miss Universe Canada contest because she was not a "naturally born female." Talackova, then 23, who underwent gender affirmation surgery when she was 19, was then reinstated to the Canadian competition last by President Donald Trump, who owns the Miss Universe organization.
  • Lulu
    Lulu, a transgender girl, reads a book in her room at her home in Buenos Aires, July 25, 2013. Lulu, a six-year-old Argentine child who was listed as a boy at birth, has been granted new identification papers by the Buenos Aires provincial government listing her as a girl. According to her mother Gabriela, Lulu chose the gender as soon as she first learned to speak. Gabriela said her child, named Manuel at birth, insisted on being called Lulu since she was just four years old, local media reported. Argentina in 2012 put in place liberal rules on changing gender, allowing people to alter their gender on official documents without first having to receive a psychiatric diagnosis or surgery.
  • Tanya Walker
    Tanya Walker, a 53-year-old transgender woman, activist and advocate, gives an interview at her apartment in New York City, September 7, 2016. Walker had lung cancer and was coughing up blood, but she says her emergency room doctor kept asking about her genitals. "It seemed like they weren't going to treat me unless I told them what genitals I had," Walker said about her 2013 experience in a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in New York. "I felt cornered." She experienced a stigma shared by many transgender people. The same rejection they confront at home and in society can often await them in the doctor's office, where many report being harassed, ridiculed or even assaulted.
  • Renee Richards
    Mike Segar/Reuters
    Renee Richards poses for a portrait at her home in Carmel, New York, March 25, 2015. More than three decades after putting down her tennis racquet, Renee Richards, 80, told Reuters she is still astonished she possessed the moxie to join the women's professional tennis tour after living the first 34 years of her life as a man. The transgender pioneer Richards, born Richard Raskind, believes nothing could be tougher than what she endured in the 1970s.
  • Helena Vukovic
    Marko Djurica/Reuters
    Helena Vukovic, Serbian first transgender veteran army officer, poses for a picture in Belgrade, Serbia September 7, 2016. More than a year after she was sacked from Serbia's army for coming out as transgender, Vukovic has finally received a passport, driving license, health and ID cards confirming her identity as a woman -- a small but important step forward for a deeply conservative country. Vukovic became a cause celebre a year earlier when she came out as the Balkan country's first transgender army officer. In January 2015, the defense ministry forced the major out after two decades' service, saying her "psychiatric diagnosis" could harm the reputation of the military. Vukovic, who is in her mid-40s, has since undergone a series of gender reassignment operations. She has become a vocal supporter of the rights of sexual minorities in Serbia, a predominantly Orthodox Christian country where many are still reluctant to come out.
  • Nada Chaiyajit
    Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters
    Nada Chaiyajit, a Thai transgender activist, 37, poses during an interview with the Thomson Reuters Foundation at a hotel in Bangkok, Thailand, November 28, 2016. Chaiyajit completed her undergraduate studies in August and, two months later, school officials told her 12 classmates -- all men -- that their graduation certificates were ready. But her college, the University of Phayao in northern Thailand, would not issue her documents because she submitted a photo in which she looks like a woman, even though her identity card says she is male. "They asked me, 'Can you take a new photo -- can you tie up your hair and wear a tie to make yourself look like a man?' I said no," said the 37-year-old, wearing rimless spectacles and simple stretch cotton sweater and trousers. "If I tie my hair back and wear a tie, then it doesn't belong to me. This belongs to me," she said, gesturing at her body and holding up the contentious portrait of herself in a black and lavender graduation gown. Nada refused to dress as a man or to petition to dress as a woman on grounds of gender identity disorder, as many Thai transgender students have done. Instead, in a landmark case, she petitioned her school to issue her documents according to the gender identity she has chosen, on the basis of her rights rather than mental illness.
  • Julio Yoaris Alvarez
    Claudia Daut/Reuters
    Julio Yoaris Alvarez adjusts his brassiere while getting dressed at his home in Havana, Cuba May 16, 2009. From an early age, Alvarez dreamed of having gender affirmation surgery and is currently awaiting his turn for one under the Cuban health care system. The surgery, like all other health care in Cuba, will be free of charge for applicants.
  • Seema
    Adnan1 Abidi/Reuters
    Seema, 33, displays her picture in which she's dressed as a woman at her residence in New Delhi, India, May 16, 2012. Seema is transgender, one of hundreds of thousands in conservative India who are ostracized, often abused and forced into prostitution.
  • Carly Lehwald
    Jim Young/Reuters
    Carly Lehwald sits with her son Ben at Carly's home in Chicago, Illinois, May 30, 2015. Carly is Ben's father, formerly known as Charlie, and is transitioning to life as a woman. Her story forms the basis for a new reality television show "Becoming Us".
  • Stringer Pakistan/Reuters
    Some of several dozen detained Pakistani transgender people watch from a police bus as another transgender woman and a man are taken to a courthouse to face charges in Peshawar May 25, 2010. Everyone on the bus was later jailed. Pakistani police arrested what they said was an entire wedding party at a ceremony between a man and a transgender woman, accusing the pair of promoting homosexuality in the devoutly Muslim country. Almost 50 people, many of them men dressed as women, were at the ceremony in the northwestern city of Peshawar night when it was raided by police.
  • Anna Grodzka
    Kacper Pempel/Reuters
    Anna Grodzka, Poland's first transgender lawmaker, attends an introductory session to the Polish parliament for newly elected lawmakers in Warsaw October 24, 2011.
  • Naz Seenauth
    Naz Seenauth, a transgender man, poses in New York October 22, 2014. Seenauth's driver's license says he is male. His birth certificate says he is female. The mismatch, he says, is deeply frustrating. New York City, where Seenauth was born and raised, does not accept that he is a transgender man and will not amend his birth certificate, for now at least, even though his doctor will attest to his gender.
  • Damian Jackson
    Cris Toala Olivares/Reuters
    Damian Jackson (C), 51, shows family members his new documents after changing his officially registered gender from female to male, in the City Hall in Amsterdam, Netherlands, July 1, 2014. Jackson was among the first to obtain new documents when a new law came into effect, legalizing the registration of a transgender person's preferred gender in official state documents, including identity cards and passports. It eliminates the previous law, which required hormonal treatment, surgery or sterilization before any change in gender registration is allowed.
  • Audrey Mbugua
    Reuters Staff/Reuters
    Audrey Mbugua, 31, Kenya’s most famous transgender campaigner, poses for a photograph in her garden in Kiambu, outside the capital Nairobi, Kenya March 31, 2015. Assigned male at birth in Kenya and given the name Andrew, she felt trapped in the wrong body and started dressing in women's clothes while at university, attracting ridicule and rejection. Transgender people are some of the most invisible in Africa where rigid gender stereotyping continues to stifle freedoms. Many are forced to hide their identity and live on the margins of their communities or risk being vilified as immoral and unchristian by the conservative majority. Facing one hurdle after another, Mbugua decided she had to take up the mantle of campaigning for transgender rights to combat the ignorance and stigma blighting her life.
  • Veronika Lee-Tillman
    Robert Galbraith/Reuters
    Randy Dolphin and transgender activist Veronika Lee-Tillman are married during a ceremony at City Hall in San Francisco, California June 28, 2013. The couple was married at City Hall with San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr giving away the bride.

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