Jackson recognizes International Transgender Day of Visibility with historic flag flying


JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS)—Flashes of white, pink, and blue waved in front of downtown Jackson’s city sky today. Leaders in the LGBTQ community looked on Jackson Mayor Derek Dobies as he tied, tugged, and hoisted the transgender flag for the first time in Jackson history.

“Today is obviously International Transgender Day of Visibility, so we wanted to do something to show the transgender community and the LGBTQ community that we support them, that we stand behind them, that they are an integral part of our community,” said Jackson Mayor, Derek Dobies.

Lana Kane was one of many who stopped by to take in the historic moment.

“Society doesn’t want to see us, and when they do see us, we are demonized. So, to know that the city cares enough to represent us and make us visible means the world to me,” said Kane.

Other activists like Karyl Baker call it a proud moment for the entire LGBTQ community.

“When we work together, we try to rise each and every one of us, not just one group or the other group. It’s a team group effort because we are family,” said Advocacy Director at the Jackson Pride Center, Karyl Baker. 

Mayor Dobies says today is just one part of an effort to create a more inclusive community and one that also includes the cities first Racial Equity Commission. It’s a group tasked with reviewing city policy to ensure racial equity is a core part of how the city runs and promotes racial justice.

“We have worked with the Jackson police department, and (they) have gone through its list of force policy and has made a lot of different amendments coming out of that and reviewing some of their internal procedures. So, I’m proud of the work they have done and really excited for the work the Racial Equity Commission can do,” said Mayor Dobies.

The first meeting for the new commission is scheduled for the beginning of April

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