By Erich Engert
Special to The Telegram
For the first time in Newfoundland and Labrador, six communities will join the East Coast Trans Alliance in efforts to stop discrimination against transgender people, joining in on the Transgender Day of Visibility.
The five communities — Torbay, Harbour Grace, Carbonear, Grand-Falls Windsor, Gander and Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove — will raise the transgender flag at their town hall events on March 30 and 31.
“It’s a way of supporting a group of people who are trying to find their own identity and, hopefully, someday will be able to face society and be happy within their own lives. I think it’s a great way of supporting the group” said Torbay Mayor Ralph Tapper.
March 31 is the International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDoV). The East Coast Trans Alliance is sending co-founder and head of NL affairs, Jennifer McCreath, across the east coast to raise the pink, blue and white striped transgender flag during events such as town halls to honour the occasion.
Dedicated to celebrate transgender people and raise awareness of the discrimination they face, the International Transgender Day of Visibility was launched by trans activist Rachel Crandall in 2009.
Trans Day of Remembrance on Nov. 20 is set to recognize those who died due to being transgender, so Crandall created this new day for trans people who are alive.
Transgender people seek fair treatment in Newfoundland, and the TDoV will help remove some of the issues transgender people face with judgment and fears from others, said McCreath.
“There are many jurisdictions all over the world that have had trans rights for quite some time, and there have been no documented reports of any people being assaulted by a trans person or by someone pretending to be trans,” said McCreath. “Sexual assault is already illegal, and providing human rights to trans people is not going to change that.”