The debate on whether or not the city will fly the transgender flag is scheduled for the next commission meeting on March 28.
The issue was brought up by local activist Michael Rajner who presented a transgender flag, donated by To The Moon owner Antonio Dumas, to the city during the Feb. 28 commission meeting. He requested that the city fly the flag to show support for the transgender community. Recently, the Trump administration decided to rescind Obama administration guidelines that advised public schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity. The Trump administration stated that bathroom guidelines should be left up to each individual state.
The issue was brought up again at the Tuesday’s meeting by Mayor Gary Resnick who said he was discussing it because he was contacted by individuals interested in the issue.
Commissioner Julie Carson followed Resnick by saying the city needed to fly the flag to show “solidarity against Trump’s action.” However, she’s not sure yet when or how long the flag should be flown for. If it is flown by the city, a probable location would be with the pride flag that now flies permanently at Jaycee Park.
In a previous interview, Resnick and Commissioner Scott Newton said they considered the Pride Flag to include and represent transgender individuals and that there was no need to fly a separate flag. Commissioner Tom Green previously stated that he supports flying other flags for special occasions but not permanently, and that he hopes the city doesn’t reach a point where every group has a flag flying. “Are we going to have a bisexual flag?”
On Tuesday, Resnick added that he found different versions of the transgender flag on the internet and he’s not sure which one should be flown if the city decided to agree to Rajner’s request. “I don’t know how we deal with it,” he said.
While there is no official Transgender Flag, according to the Smithsonian Institution, the flag donated by Dumas is the same design of the first Transgender Flag which was created by Atlanta transgender activist Monica Helms. Helms donated the first Transgender Flag she created to the Smithsonian in 2014.
Commissioner Justin Flippen said the symbol is not as important as “the statement of what we’re trying to say” about inclusion and defending the transgender community. He added that it would be “irresponsible” of him as a lawmaker to “to be unsympathetic” to that community. “This is the best way to show and recognize that discrimination has no place.”