JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — The Transgender Pride Flag is flying high in Jackson County for the first time in public.
The flag, made up of white, pink and blue is being displayed in honor of Transgender Visibility Day, which honors people who identify as transgender.
Transgender Visibility Day was founded by a Michigan acitivist, Rachel Crandall Crocker, who is now the Executive Director of Transgender Michigan. The organization supports transgender and gender-non-conforming people.
Since 2009, the Day of Visibility has celebrated the successes of transgender communities.
Mayor Derek Dobies and City Manager Jonathan Greene helped hoist the flag onto the flag pole in Horace Blackman Park, a public park in the center of downtown Jackson. Mayor Dobies says this shows the City is supportive of its transgender residents and visitors.
“Jackson is tolerant and inclusive City that views diversity as a strength. We want people to feel welcome here, and this flag is a reflection of that,” Mayor Dobies said in a press release.
Karyl Baker, Chairperson of the Jackson Pride Center, the community’s LGBTQ advocacy organization, also helped raise the flag with City officials. “I am glad Jackson is coming into the 21st Century and people are able to be themselves and live more openly now. This shows that the community cares about LGBTQ residents,” Baker said in a city press release.
Jackson resident Lana Kane says she watched proudly as the flag was raised. “It means in the City, people like me are seen. I grew up not feeling that way because society doesn’t want to see transgender people and when they do see us we’re demonized. So to know enough that the City cares enough to represent us and make us visible, means the world to me,” Kane said in a press release.
Any local group wanting to have a flag flying in the park for a particular honor are asked to contact the City Manager’s Office. City officials will review the request and determine an appropriate time to fly the flag.