PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The City of Philadelphia has declared March 31 “Transgender Visibility Day.”
The city raised a flag Thursday to celebrate one of the world’s most vulnerable communities.
“It’s about being seen, being out, celebrating,” said Evan Thornburg, deputy director of the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs.
They led a flag raising celebration on the North Side of City hall to give voice and visibility to the trangender community.
“It is a life and death conversation for trans people to be able to be out and themselves,” said Thornburg.
“We only uplift the transfolk that live up to expectations,” said Hazel Edwards, a transgender youth who gave remarks during Thursday’s event.
She says trans vibisility week is important to shatter stereotypes and raise awarness so more transgender people will come out.
“I want to see more transgender people out here,” she said.
As for allies, advocates say they can help by allowing trans people space to speak up, but also by stepping up.
“When someone’s fired, when someone’s being verbally abused or disguarded,” said Thornburg.
More than 60,000 Philadelphia residents identify as LGBTQ.