Orlando – For the first time ever, the city of Orlando is issuing a proclamation in recognition of the International Transgender Day of Visibility – a day to celebrate and raise awareness about the transgender community.
City Commissioner Patty Sheehan will present the proclamation at a ceremony March 31 in the Orlando City Hall Rotunda.
Gina Duncan, a transgender diversity and inclusion trainer, looks forward to the day and hopes the entire LGBT community will recognize and support the transgender community.
“We have asked all LGBT organizations that fly a flag to fly the transgender flag that day,” Duncan said.
She said that many LGBT organizations, including MBA Orlando, the Zebra Coalition and The GLBT Center of Central Florida, will be in attendance for the city hall celebration. UCF will be celebrating transgender awareness that entire week on campus.
Sheehan said it’s important for transgender individuals to receive the visibility and respect they deserve and she feels honored to present the proclamation, knowing it takes courage to stand up and say it’s an important issue.
“I think it’s always critically important for any minority to have this kind of visibility,” she said.
Sheehan knew Duncan personally both before and after her transition and called Duncan’s journey “inspiring.” She said when people actually meet and know transgender individuals, it helps break stereotypes.
Duncan recently returned from 2014 Lobby Days in Tallahassee and said a majority of the Florida Legislature had never met a transgender individual before. She hopes the visibility of more transgender individuals helps create change and get legislature passed for LGBT rights.
“Until people know transgender people and take the fear of the unknown away, we won’t see any progress,” Duncan said.
Sheehan spoke of the growing importance in this day and for visibility everyday of transgender individuals, saying they “need to feel comfort in their own skin and live their own truth.”
The Transgender Day of Visibility began as a Facebook event in 2009, created by Michigan transgender activist Rachel Crandall. It has grown to become an international day of celebration and dedication to transgender individuals globally.
From our media partner Watermark