Breaking News
More () »

'They just need to be seen' | Sacramento City Unified raises Transgender Pride Flag

Each year, on March 31, the world observes Trans Day of Visibility by celebrating the lives and contributions of trans people.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento City Unified School District is supporting transgender people and communities, including students staff members. 

Sacramento City Unified Board Members recently approved a resolution to celebrate Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV). It's an international campaign to help raise awareness about transgender people. 

Each year, on March 31, the world observes TDOV by celebrating the lives and contributions of trans people. It's also an opportunity to raise awareness about the many challenges trans people face too often. 

Some of the hardships include, lack of legal protection, poverty, stigma, harassment and discrimination, violence, lack of healthcare coverage, lack of accurate identity documents and more. 

For trans youth, other challenges, like school bullying, can threaten their well-being and lead to other negative outcomes, like higher rates of dropping out of school and absenteeism.

Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) began flying the Transgender Pride Flag at the Serna Center on Monday. The district held a ceremony to mark the historic day. 

Guest speakers included SCUSD Board President Chinua Rhodes, SCUSD Student Board Member Liam McGurk, City Councilmember Lisa Kaplan, Washington Unified Board Member Jackie Wong, Sacramento County Supervisor Phil Serna, Sacramento LGBT Center Executive Director David Heitstuman and Evan Minton, National Transgender Advocate.

“Every student deserves to be seen, supported and loved," said Rhodes. "This is especially important for students who are historically most vulnerable, including trans youth. Our district’s Trans Day of Visibility is a signal of our commitment to equity and support for all students, as well as staff and members of our community who are trans."

The SCUSD resolution requires every school to keep LGBTQ students safe by designating an LGBTQ liaison and providing support for LGBTQ student groups. The district is encouraging employees to talk about trans visibility in class too.

As a mother, Nicole Kangas works with Sacramento City Unified to protect transgender youth. For Kangas, the decision is personal. She says celebrating trans youth for who they are helps them to be able to live their best lives.

"My daughter is transgender," said Kangas. "I could not be more proud to just support her, to live authentically and happily. I'm very proud to work for an entity that so strongly is declaring support of our trans community and our gender nonconforming and nonbinary community as well."

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and Councilmember Lisa Kaplan will introduce a resolution to support transgender people too. During Tuesday's City Council meeting, they'll encourage the city to recognize Transgender Visibility Week.

Before You Leave, Check This Out