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Fairfax supervisors designate Transgender Day of Visibility

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(The Center Square) – The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors at its most recent meeting unanimously appointed March 31 as “Transgender Day of Visibility.”

It coincides with Easter, the Christian holy day commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The mayor in the city of Fairfax has also given the same designation for the date.

The federal government last year declared March 31 a day to celebrate and honor the minority group. With last week’s proclamation, the board brings that observance to Fairfax County.

“This was requested by a lot of people, which is great,” Board Chairman Jeffrey McKay said, listing all the members of the board.

Each of the members took time to voice their support of the proclamation and underscore its necessity to them, with Supervisor Dalia Palchik calling it a “moral imperative” and highlighting the rates of depression and suicidality in youth.

“To me, when we look at data, regardless of how you feel in your value system and your religious beliefs and other, there’s nothing that stands out more to me as to why this is important more than the information [showing]… more than half of our transgender students are depressed. Nearly half have considered suicide, and you see it across the board in our LGBT community,” Palchik said.

McKay echoed Palchik’s sentiments, saying that elected officials should show support for everyone, especially those that are made to feel unwelcome.

“As an elected official, it should be our moral responsibility to stand up for all people that we represent – not just the people we like or the people we agree with, but stand up for all people in our community, especially those who are persecuted relentlessly by people who think that that shows strength when in reality, it shows a tremendous amount of weakness,” McKay said.

McKay went on to cite a Washington Post article chronicling rising hate crimes in states with more restrictive laws or policies.

“The effect that some of these statehouses are having sadly is the effect that some of those elected officials want, which is to persecute people without regard for human life and without regard for dignity,” McKay said. “The statistics speak volumes for the poor kids that have to live in those states that have elected officials who won’t stand up and protect them – is egregious.”

Rev. Emma Chattin of the TransGender Education Association rounded out the instantiation, again touching on the theme that “leadership matters.”

“This is a visible declaration of solidarity and the leadership necessary to help build a better world. Leadership matters,” Chattin said.

Fairfax County established a One Fairfax policy in 2016 that declares its commitment to racial and social equity.

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