On International Transgender Day of Visibility, March 31st, the Transgender Pride flag is flying over city council buildings for the first time. This follows a motion raised by Labour councillor Rachel Melly at the full Council session on March 22nd, proposing a raft of reforms to ensure that York has a transgender friendly council. The motion was carried by 46 for to 1 against.
As part of this motion, the Trans Pride flag will now fly twice every year, the other occasion being Transgender Day of Remembrance, on November 20th.
The motion is a clear statement of support for the transgender community and recognises that trans men are men, trans women are women, and non-binary genders are just as valid. It includes data which shows the ways in which transgender people are marginalised and proposes ways to improve access to council services. The motion highlights how one in ten transgender people nationally have been an inpatient at a mental health unit at least once. A higher proportion of transgender people have alcohol dependency problems and also represent a disproportionate percentage of those who are homeless.
“The past year has been a particularly rough time for transgender rights and freedoms nationally,” Cllr Melly said. “As a city we need to do our bit to show support for the transgender community. Trans rights are an intergenerational issue as there are transgender people of all ages. This motion commits the council to make changes to improve inclusivity for transgender and other LGBTQ+ people across a range of services, including education, sexual health, and older people’s accommodation. Trans men are men, trans women are women, and non-binary genders are just as valid”.