Tuesday, April 23

Virginia county declares Transgender Day of Visibility on Easter this year

A Virginia county unanimously voted to observe its Transgender Day of Visibility this year on Easter Sunday – a move some critics see as “intentionally trying to offend Christians on the holiest of days.”

The Fairfax Board of Supervisors voted 9-0 in favor of the proclamation last week, with one board member, Republican Supervisor Patrick Herrity, absent.

March 31 – when Easter occurs this year – is typically the date when TDOV is celebrated annually, according to LGBTQ+ advocates and organizations. Easter doesn’t fall on the same day every year for Protestants and Catholics, and can come as early as March 22 or as late as April 25.

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“I’m just very happy that we’re recognizing a community that has too often been pushed into the shadows and celebrating yet another community within our diverse tapestry here in Fairfax County,” Supervisor Jimmy Bierman, a Democrat, said during the vote.

Bierman, one of the nine members who requested the proclamation, added the county wants “to make sure that everybody who’s a part of our community feels welcomed, feels loved and feels empowered.”

Democrat board member James Walkinshaw, referring to Herrity’s absence, said he’s “looking forward to the day when we have a full dais for this proclamation, and that day will come.”

County Board Chairman Jeff McKay, a Democrat, called the proclamation part of the board’s “moral responsibility to stand up for all people, not just the people we like or the people we agree with.”

But Stephanie Lundquist-Arora – a Virginia mom and the Fairfax chapter leader of the Independent Women’s Network, a nonprofit organization that describes itself as “a private online forum empowering conservative women to inspire, influence, and impact their communities” – called the decision “reprehensible.”

Lundquist-Arora told Fox News Digital in a statement that board members “are not simply trying to make transgender people feel seen.”

“By voting to make Easter this year Transgender Visibility Day, they are intentionally trying to offend Christians on the holiest of days by forcing gender ideology down their throats,” she said. “This is reprehensible and unbecoming of our elected representatives.”

The LGBTQ+ advocacy group the Human Rights Campaign casts observance of TDOV as an acknowledgment of the “significant progress in recent years, with more visibility than ever before.” But it contends the group is “still fighting for basic human rights for the community.”

GLAAD, the largest non-governmental LGBTQ+ media monitoring nonprofit, places TDOV in a political light. The group says on its website that the prevalence of so-called “anti-LGBTQ+ bills,” such as those restricting surgical procedures and hormone prescriptions for children, “harms all trans people.”

“That’s why it’s still necessary for trans people to be seen through authentic, diverse, and accurate stories which reflect the actual lived experiences of trans people; both for themselves and for those people who believe they’ve never met a trans person,” GLAAD states. “This includes in news media, where too often trans people’s voices are missing from coverage of anti-trans laws and policies affecting their lives.”

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The Fairfax County proclamation comes amid a push from more conservative states to enact laws restricting both surgical and nonsurgical transgender procedures for minors. States such as Idaho, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Alabama and Florida make it a felony to perform surgical procedures, such as sex changes, on minors or provide them with any gender-transition prescriptions. 

Meanwhile, several states have created “shield laws” that protect these procedures and gender-transition prescriptions for transgender people. Those states include California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, New York, Vermont, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Maryland, Illinois and Massachusetts.

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