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On Wednesday, March 31st at 9:00 AM, Washtenaw County officials will raise the Transgender Pride Flag at 200 N. Main St in downtown Ann Arbor. This flag raising will be a part of the county’s recognition of Transgender Day of Visibility.
Members of the public are welcome to attend the flag raising ceremony on March 31st. There will be brief remarks by commissioners. If you plan on attending, please be mindful of COVID-19 safety protocols by wearing a mask and practicing social distancing.
“It was dismaying to see the affront on transgender people during the past presidential administration, but here in the county we have always tried to be welcoming. Flying the Transgender Pride flag every year is part of this,” said Katie Scott, Washtenaw County Commissioner for District 9. “It's so important to make sure that transgender individuals in Washtenaw County know they are living in an affirming community.”
At their last meeting, the Board of Commissioner unanimously passed a resolution to recognize Transgender Day of Visibility in Washtenaw County, reaffirming the Board’s commitment to creating a diverse and welcoming community.
“While our board has recognized Transgender Day of Visibility for the last several years, it’s especially important this year,” said Jason Morgan, Washtenaw County Commissioner for District 8. “We know that the transgender community has been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, so we must continue working with our community partners to not just recognize and celebrate transgender individuals, but also serve and support them so that they have the chance to thrive in Washtenaw County.”
Studies have shown that transgender individuals are more likely to have been laid off or had their hours reduced since the start of the pandemic. This community also experiences high rates of immunocompromising chronic health conditions, putting them at elevated risk for COVID-19. They are also more likely to rely on external social support systems that have been cut off due to social distancing and stay at home orders.
Transgender Day of Visibility is celebrated internationally to celebrate members of the transgender community and raise awareness of the discrimination they often face. It was founded by Michigan-based transgender activist Rachel Crandall in 2009.