Washtenaw County Celebrates International Transgender Day of Visibility with Flag Raising Ceremony
On Friday, March 31, 2023, the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners will commemorate the International Transgender Day of Visibility by hoisting the Transgender Pride flag at 220 N. Main St.
“We are committed to fostering a diverse and welcoming community here, “said Justin Hodge, Commissioner for District 5 and Chair of the Board, “This flag raising is a symbol, an acknowledgement, and a celebration of the lives of transgender people all around our County.”
Last year, the board unanimously approved a resolution to recognize March 31st as Transgender Day of Visibility in Washtenaw County. This year's event marks the third observance and flag-raising ceremony.
“We know that the challenges faced by transgender people in our county are often invisible,” shared Katie Scott, Commissioner for District 9, “I’m thankful that our Board has made the on-going commitment to not only craft policy that ensures every individual is treated with dignity and respect, but that we’re also saying, through the flag raising, that ‘we SEE you and we HEAR you.’ “
International Transgender Day of Visibility, or TDOV, is a yearly event held on March 31st, dedicated to celebrating the transgender community and raising awareness about the discrimination they face worldwide. The event also highlights the significant contributions transgender individuals make to society.
President Joe Biden made history in 2021 by becoming the first American president to issue a formal presidential proclamation recognizing TDOV. In his statement, Biden urged all Americans to "join in the fight for full equality for all transgender people."
The origins of TDOV can be traced back to 2009 when transgender activist Rachel Crandall from Michigan established the day in response to the lack of LGBTQ+ recognition for transgender individuals. Crandall expressed frustration that the only well-known transgender-focused day was the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which mourned the loss of transgender lives but did not celebrate living members of the community. The inaugural International Transgender Day of Visibility occurred on March 31, 2009.
“Washtenaw County is an extremely diverse community, “Gregory Dill, County Administrator, said, “This annual event is another way for us to acknowledge and celebrate that diversity.”
The upcoming Transgender Day of Visibility Flag Raising Ceremony will be held at the County Administration Building at 220 N Main St, Ann Arbor, at 9:30 am on March 31st. The event is open to the public and aims to unite the community to support transgender equality and recognition.