On Thursday, March 30, Philadelphia City Council unanimously passed a resolution declaring March 31st Transgender Day of Visibility in the city.
“WHEREAS, One million Americans are transgender and have bravely overcome significant hardships to build vibrant and thriving communities, often in the face of systemic and interpersonal prejudice, discrimination, and violence; and
WHEREAS, We cannot simply celebrate visibility without also recognizing that it does not always equal justice; still far too many Trans people, in particular Trans women of color, continue to face profound threats to their safety and wellbeing; and
WHEREAS, Already this year we know of eight Trans women of color who were murdered — Jaquarrius Holland, 18 years old; Ciara McElveen, 21 years old; Chyna Gibson, 31 years old; Keke Collier, 24 years old; JoJo Striker, 23 years old; Mesha Caldwell, 41 years old; Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow, 28 years old; and Alphonza Watson, 38 years old — for each Trans person killed or lost this year and in years past we mourn, we honor, and we say their names; and
WHEREAS, We also celebrate the beauty and resilience of Trans people through history and of those who are with us today, and we recognize that Trans people have contributed and continue to contribute in myriad ways to the betterment of our society and our city, often working at the forefront of social justice activism and human rights work; and
WHEREAS, Trans people, and in particular Trans women of color including Sylvia Rivera, Miss Major, and Marsha P. Johnson, were instrumental in the creation of the modern gay rights movement in the United States, from the 1965 Dewey lunch counter protests in Philadelphia to the Stonewall riots in 1969 to the creation of radical new civil rights organizations;…”
Thanks to the hard work of Philadelphia Office of LGBT Affairs, Councilwoman Helen Gym and City Council to speak out, advocate, and support this resolution.
Transgender Day of Visibility is another step towards ensuring the equal protection, safety, and full dignity of our transgender friends and neighbors.