PRESS RELEASE: Local Governments to Fly Transgender Pride Flags Across Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Contact: Nathan Triplett

 

Organization: Equality Michigan

 

Telephone: 517-719-6499

 

Email: ntriplett@equalitymi.org

 

Local Governments Fly Transgender Pride Flags Across Michigan

Cities, counties, and school districts observe Transgender Day of Visibility 

 

March 30, 2017 – Detroit, MI – For the first time in Michigan, at least eight communities across the state will be flying the Transgender Pride Flag at public buildings on March 31st for International Transgender Day of Visibility, a day for transgender individuals to celebrate their identity and for allies to show support. This year Equality Michigan helped coordinate statewide flag display as part of the observance.

 

“We are fortunate to have local elected officials in Michigan who are willing to stand up against discrimination and send a strong message that transgender residents and students are welcomed and valued,” said Equality Michigan Executive Director Stephanie White. “Transgender Michiganders continue to face high rates of harassment and violence in many aspects of daily life. To change that, we need to build awareness and address gaps in legal protections such as the fact that Michigan state law does not prohibit discrimination based on gender identity. Flying the transgender pride flag can be one step in that conversation.”

 

Eight Michigan cities, counties, and school districts will be flying the Transgender Pride Flag tomorrow: the cities of Ypsilanti, Lansing, East Lansing, Kalamazoo, and Ferndale, Ingham and Washtenaw counties, and the Ypsilanti Community School District.

 

Ypsilanti Mayor Amanda Edmonds was the first to answer the call. She introduced a resolution directing the city to fly the Transgender Pride Flag, which was passed unanimously on March 21. “At this moment in time it is essential that elected leaders use the privilege afforded to us by being in office to ensure that voice and visibility are given to those in our community often unheard,” said Mayor Amanda Edmonds. “We want everyone to know that Ypsilanti is a welcoming and inclusive community.  Flying the Transgender Pride flag is a small way to show support for people in our community too often subject to injustice and cruelty, and far more likely than others to be a victim of violence or attempt suicide.  While our work in creating safety and acceptance for transgender people is far from done, this action is one more step forward.”

 

While Transgender Day of Visibility is now an international observance, it was created by Michigander Rachel Crandall-Crocker, the founder of Transgender Michigan.

 

“The International Transgender Day of Visibility has grown over the years into the global phenomenon that it is today. But it’s not happening on its own. The actions that each of these individual local governments are taking are making it happen; without these, the day would mean nothing.”

 

Equality Michigan’s initiative was strongly supported and made possible by community partners, like the Jim Toy Community Center in Ann Arbor. “By recognizing Transgender Day of Visibility and publicly flying Trans Pride Flags, the city of Ypsilanti, Ypsilanti Community Schools, and Washtenaw County, among others, are sending the strong, clear and unwavering message that all residents, regardless of gender identity or expression, are welcome and valued in our community,” said Jim Toy Community Center President Travis Radina. “At a time when state and federal officials have taken steps to codify discrimination and further marginalize the LGBTQ community, the courageous leadership of local and community leaders, like Ypsilanti Mayor Amanda Edmonds and Washtenaw County Commissioner Jason Morgan, will be critical in the fight for equality and gives us hope for a better future.”

 

A flag raising ceremony will be held by the city of Ypsilanti is in front of the Ypsilanti Police Department, 505 W Michigan Ave, Ypsilanti, MI 48197, at 8:00am on Friday, March 31. A ceremony will also be held for the Ypsilanti Community School District at the Administration Building, 1885 Packard Road, Ypsilanti, MI 48197 at 8:30am. The public is invited and encouraged to attend.

 

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