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Equality PA, coalition partners #ShineALightOn Discrimination for the Transgender Day of Visibility

Members of Pennsylvania’s transgender community and allies took part in 5 events across the state to raise awareness

trans-visibilityHarrisburg, PA — In honor of the International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) on March 31st, community members came together across Pennsylvania to raise awareness about the discrimination transgender people face. The TDOV was started in 2009 as a way to acknowledge and celebrate transgender people by Rachel Crandall, a transgender advocate in Michigan. Since then, it has been observed in a number of states and countries worldwide.

With simultaneous events in Erie, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Pittston, advocates hope the statewide presence will educate others about the discrimination faced by the community and celebrate the resilience of transgender Pennsylvanians.

Daye Pope, Transgender Rights Organizer for Equality PA, described the event, “Transgender people experience high levels of discrimination which often go unnoticed. We wanted to shine a light on this issue and show that there is a vibrant transgender community all across the state who are ready and willing to work hard, but aren’t being given a fair shake because of Pennsylvania’s outdated nondiscrimination laws. Every Pennsylvanian deserves a chance to provide for their families, including transgender people.”

Equality Pennsylvania’s events drew transgender community members as well as allies who support ending discrimination against the community. Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania’s first openly transgender Physician General, spoke at the Harrisburg event on the lower steps of the Pennsylvania State Capitol, citing the importance of coming together as a community to update Pennsylvania’s nondiscrimination laws.

Many Pennsylvanians are shocked to learn that discrimination based upon sexual orientation or gender identity is still legal in the Keystone state.  The PA Fairness Act, if passed, would update Pennsylvania’s laws to ensure that all residents of the state would be able to work, find housing, and access services free from discrimination, including gay and transgender Pennsylvanians.

A full list of event locations and logistics:

Erie:

Thursday, March 31st at 6:30pm
Mental Health Association
1101 Peach St.

Harrisburg TDOV:

Thursday, March 31st at 6pm
Lower steps of the Pennsylvania State Capitol
Rain location: LGBT Center of Central PA
Guest speaker: Rachel Levine

Philadelphia:

Thursday, March 31st at 11am
Norris Square Park
2100 N Howard St.
Co-sponsored by GALAEI

Pittsburgh:

Thursday, March 31st at 6pm
Persad Center
5301 Butler St.
Co-Sponsored by the Persad Center

Pittston:

Thursday, March 31st at 6pm
Pittston Memorial Library
47 Broad St.

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With 60,000 members across the commonwealth, Equality Pennsylvania is the leading organization advancing equality and opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Pennsylvanians.

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Thank you to our 2017-18 Strategic Partners

Equality Federation Human Rights Campaign Gill Foundation Gill Action Fund Freedom for All Americans
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