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The Transgender Pride Flag and the Transgender Day of Remembrance

Commentary: Trans Progressive

Many in the LGBT community aren’t aware that there is a Transgender Pride Flag. It’s flown at transgender specific events; it can be seen each year at the San Diego Pride festival at the transgender booth. It’s a flag that visually symbolizes the T subcommunity of the LGBT community in a manner similar to how the Bisexual Pride Flag symbolizes the bisexual subcommunity, as well as how the Rainbow Pride Flag visually symbolizes the entirety of the LGBT community.

Yet, many of us in the LGBT community and our allies, when seeing the Transgender Pride Flag, have no idea why the flag is flying and what the flag represents.

The Transgender Pride Flag was designed by Monica Helms and first flown in Phoenix, Ariz. in 1998. The flag has five stripes on it – two pastel blue stripes, two pastel pink stripes, and one white stripe. The blue and pink stripes represent male and female; the sex assigned to children at birth. The white stripe represents those who don’t fit in that gender binary. That includes those who’s assigned sex at birth doesn’t match their gender identity; those who’s gender expression doesn’t match societal sex and gender norms; and those who’s gender doesn’t align with either male or female societal sex and gender norms.

The stripes on the flag are arranged so that the flag can’t be flown upside down. The message of that feature of the flag is that just as there is no wrong way to fly the flag there’s no wrong way to be gendered.

Nov. 20 of each year is the Transgender Day of Remembrance. On that day the transgender subcommunity of the LGBT community remembers those who’ve been killed due to anti-transgender violence. It’s a somber day, and a somber ceremony held internationally where the names and manner of death of those killed in the previous year are read aloud.

There is a march held in conjunction with the event where the Transgender Pride Flag, as well as the Bisexual Pride and Rainbow Pride Flags are carried by some in the march, and this year the march will start in front of The LGBT Center on Centre Street at 6 p.m.

The Hillcrest Business Association (HBA) was approached earlier this year about an additional location for prominently flying the Transgender Pride Flag here in San Diego: the flagpole on the corner of University Avenue and Normal Street. The HBA readily agreed to the idea. So, in a ceremony beginning at 9:30 a.m. the Rainbow Pride Flag, usually flown 24/7 at that flagpole, will be lowered, and the Transgender Pride Flag will be raised to half-mast.

The remembrance march that begins at The LGBT Center will end at the flagpole. The Transgender Pride Flag will then be lowered, and the Rainbow Flag will again be raised. After the raising of the Rainbow Flag, the ceremony where the names of the dead are read will begin. That ceremony begins at 7 p.m.

It’s with great credit to the HBA that they welcomed honoring people killed by anti-transgender violence.

This month especially, I’m proud to be a member of the trans community living in San Diego, and there’s a Transgender Pride Flag that reflects that kind of community pride.

Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=30926

Posted by on Nov 8, 2012. Filed under Trans Progressive. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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