City Raises Transgender Pride Flag In Show Of Support
Boston Raises Flag And It Stays Until Equality Is Reached In Massachusetts
While other states are busy passing bills legalizing bigotry, Democratic Mayor Marty Walsh of Boston is making a symbolic but much-needed show of support with the transgender community. The city of Boston raised the transgender pride flag over city hall today and the mayor says it will stay until everyone in Massachusetts is equal under the law.
Boston joins San Francisco, San Jose and Philadelphia in flying the flag. Massachusetts state lawmakers are debating a bill that would expand a previous law prohibiting discrimination, as stated by AP:
Republican Gov. Charlie Baker hasn’t said whether he would sign the measure, which would expand a 2011 state law banning discrimination against transgender people in the workplace and housing by also prohibiting discrimination in restaurants, malls and other public accommodations, including restrooms or locker rooms.
The bill would allow transgender people to use public accommodations corresponding to their gender identity.
Work still needs to be done with this bill, but it’s certainly great to see a state going in the right direction after so many negative laws have been passed this year. The danger of hatred toward the transgender community cannot be understated. And the fact that no incident of a mythical transgender bathroom predator has ever occurred should be repeated as often as possible. In fact, as has been hilariously noted, more Republican politicians have been arrested for naughty behavior in bathrooms than incidents involving transgender folks.
2015 saw the most murders of transgender people on record and 2016 has already seen its share of fatalities. This is coupled with the reality the transgender community has a shockingly high rate of suicide and suicide attempts. And there is zero doubt discrimination plays a huge role in this reality as North Carolina’s suicide hotline for the transgender community saw its call volume double after the passage of its anti-LGBT law.
But there are many bright spots that have sprouted around this issue despite these acts of hate. A slew of companies and entertainers have openly boycotted states like North Carolina and Mississippi after they passed anti-LGBT laws. It’s clear boycotts have worked in the past and are very likely to work in changing legislation in these states.
We have also seen increased solidarity with brave transgender activists standing up to discrimination in lower-profile cases, such as in South Dakota. And a recent victory in the courts occurred in the state of Virginia as a transgender high school student won a suit after his school forced him to use a solitary, single stall toilet instead of allowing him in the men’s room.
Boston certainly deserves praise for its action and it has been a great example for the rest of the country when it comes to combating right-wing inspired fear over so-called bathroom bills. The city has had a public accommodations law in place since 2002 and is better because of it. The words of Mayor Marty Walsh today are an appropriate ending here:
“We’ve proven there’s nothing to fear from being inclusive,” the mayor said. “Quite the opposite. We are safer, we are stronger when everyone enjoys the same protections.”