Portlanders celebrate Transgender Day of Visibility

Published: Mar. 31, 2023 at 9:58 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - For more than a decade, the Transgender Day of Visibility has been celebrated.

Recently, in 2021, President Joe Biden officially proclaimed it.

Early Friday afternoon, youth advocates could be found marching around the downtown area.

On Friday night, advocates convened at the Q Center in North Portland.

Ian Morton, Executive Director, summed up the message as “you are beautiful.”

“It’s important,” Morton explained, “because it’s a day that we get to celebrate the transgender members of our community, contributions that they have made and art and beauty that they’ve added to the world. In addition to that, we’re talking to some of our community and getting into stories of lived experience.”

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Morton said the night began with a documentary screening of the first trans woman who ran for a county seat in San Antonio, Texas.

“Portland,” he said, “being such a queer city, it’s the perfect place to celebrate those identities.”

He went on to say the youth is a big part of that celebration, as youth artwork is being featured and voted on. The winner gets to be this year’s pride mascot.

“If you look around the art gallery,” he said eyeing the walls, “you’ll see submissions from six different trans artists vying for the pride parade 2023 mascot.”

Morton said another piece of the day is having positive role models accessible for youth who may be struggling, because “we live in a world where young people are more and more empowered to discover what their identity is. Young people are seeing themselves reflected in popular culture in a way that many of us never got to.”

He described the LGBTQ+ community as tightly knit.

“We’ve constantly proven resilience and beauty in the face of adversity. The humanity in each of us is beautiful and no matter what your identity is or how you manifest yourself, you’re beautiful. You’re worthwhile and you make the world a better place.”