The Hobart City Council is flying the transgender pride flag from Hobart Town Hall for the first time this week to celebrate Transgender Day of Visibility on Wednesday (March 31).
The Trans Day of Visibility has occurred on March 31 since 2009. The aim of the day is to celebrate the lives and achievements of transgender people and raise awareness of the work still needed to end the discrimination and violence still faced by trans people worldwide.
Longtime Tasmanian trans right advocate Martine Delaney (above right) was among dozens of people, including Hobart City Councillor Jax Ewin (above left) to attend the flag-raising on Monday.
“It’s beyond awesome to see the Hobart City Council flying trans colours,” Delaney said.
“Particularly after attacks against us in some Murdoch papers questioned the legitimacy of our existence. And after leaders on the religious right recently admitted at a ‘Church and State’ conference that attacking trans rights is a path to political power.
“The irony of Transgender Day of Visibility is that it is essential to eventually achieving trans Invisibility day.
Delaney said this means “the day when my transness is no longer of importance to anyone other than those I love and who share my life; the day when I’m valued and judged on my worth as a person, and not on my gender identity.”
Earlier this month, Martine Delaney inducted into her state’s Honour Roll of Women for her “outstanding accomplishments and contribution” to the state.
For many years, Delaney has advocated for trans equality and social acceptance of trans Tasmanians, and her state’s broader LGBTIQ community.
Trans pride colours all over Tasmania
As well as flying the trans pride flags this week, the Hobart City Council is also lighting up a number of locations around the city in the colours of the transgender flag.
These include the Railway Roundabout Fountain, the Franklin Square Fountain, the Elizabeth Street Mall, the Rose Garden Bridge and the Cardinal Lights at the Waterside Pavilion.
Equality Tasmania spokesperson Dr Charlie Burton said it was “really exciting” for trans and gender diverse Tasmanians to see their capital city “so proudly and visibily affirm us”.
“Stigma and discrimination can make life pretty tough for trans and gender diverse folk,” Dr Burton explained.
“It means a lot to see that we are welcomed and included. I congratulate Hobart City Council and everyone else who helped make this happen.”
Equality Tasmania is also celebrating the Transgender Day of Visibility on its Facebook page. The group has shared stories of Tasmanian transgender advocates spanning thirty years.
Joining Martine Delaney on the list is Roz Houston, who trained police officers in trans issues for many years.
Russell Gates was the first trans Tasmanian to share their personal journey on local TV.
And Stephanie Reid lobbied against Tasmania’s former laws against cross-dressing, which parliament finally scrapped in 2001.
Follow the Equality Tasmania Facebook page to read their stories.