The message is loud and clear. And big. Very, very big. A billboard recently went up with the simple yet powerful phrase: “Trans Lives Are Precious.”
Where the billboard is placed is as important as the message itself. It went up in West Palm Beach, just off of I-95 outside Mar-A-Lago, former President Donald Trump’s main residence.
The project comes from FOLX Health, a medical company specializing in treatments for the trans and queer communities, and is the brainchild of their VP of Marketing, Rocco Kayiatos and A.G. Breitenstein, the founder and CEO. It was put up in late March for Trans Visibility Day, and they made sure it was visible to the former president. The Trump administration was openly hostile towards trans rights. He supported legislation or administrative rules to end protections for trans children in schools, banned trans people from serving in the military, ended some protections for trans prisoners and fought trans recognition in federal employment laws.
The message is bigger than just one person. Rocco said that while it appears to be for an audience of one, it’s about reaching the entire Palm Beach County community.
“The ‘precious’ language was used to get the attention of people who prioritize money,” he said.
He also points out that Florida isn’t very friendly to the trans community. The latest assault on trans people comes from the Florida House of Representatives, which passed a bill that would require proof of a student’s biological sex to play sports. State Representative Omari Hardy (D-Palm Beach County) is an opponent of the bill and tweeted that it could lead to genital inspections.
In addition to making a statement on Trans Visibility Day, Rocco said it was inspired by all the community has been through over the past year; the pandemic, the election, and the overall political climate made it seem like everything was turning up the heat all at once. The response has been very positive.
FOLX Health has gotten letters of thanks and encouragement for getting the message out, and Rocco said there hasn’t been much, if any, negative blowback.
FOLX Health serves the queer and trans communities in 15 states, including Florida. To learn more about their services, you can visit FolxHealth.com.