Photo: Gage Skidmore (2019), Creative Commons License 2.0

Old Handsome President Joe Biden did another first yesterday, becoming the first US president to issue a declaration for the annual International Transgender Day of Visibility. In the document, Biden praised trans folks for their

generations of struggle, activism, and courage that have brought our country closer to full equality for transgender and gender non-binary people in the United States and around the world. Their trailblazing work has given countless transgender individuals the bravery to live openly and authentically. This hard-fought progress is also shaping an increasingly accepting world in which peers at school, teammates and coaches on the playing field, colleagues at work, and allies in every corner of society are standing in support and solidarity with the transgender community.

We've come a hell of a long way from Barack Obama's first run for president, when Barry said he supported LGBTQ+ rights in general, but thought the US should draw the line at civil unions. He came some distance on the matter, too — with Joe's help, let's not forget — and good for him.


Biden's declaration also recognized that trans people are at the moment facing a hell of a backlash from Culture Warriors who want them to just stop being who they are, noting that "too many transgender people -- adults and youth alike -- still face systemic barriers to freedom and equality"; he noted in particular the "crisis of violence against transgender women, especially transgender women of color, [that] is a stain on our Nation's conscience." He promised that he and Vice President Kamala Harris are committed to "fulfilling the promise of America for all Americans by stamping out discrimination and delivering freedom and equality for all."

Joe pointed out that on his first day of office, he ordered that all federal agencies fully implement last year's Supreme Court decision banning discrimination against LGBTQ Americans, and reversed Donald Trump's ban on trans people serving in the military. Biden also celebrated the confirmation of Rachel Levine as assistant secretary of Health and Human Services, and called on the Senate to pass the Equality Act, now that the House has already done so. The Equality Act, he said, will "serve as a lasting legacy to the bravery and fortitude of the LGBTQ+ movement."

Unfortunately, passage of the act in the Senate seems unlikely just now, but that's what declarations like this are for: to mark that things have changed. Hell, we remember when it was news that Bill Clinton mentioned gay people in his inaugural address as if they were actual Americans with rights and stuff. Here's hoping trans equality won't take half a lifetime, though.

The Washington Blade points out that Biden is just the latest in a string of presidents to recognize LGBTQ+ rights:

Bill Clinton issued the first LGBTQ Pride proclamation, a practice former President Barack Obama renewed in each of his eight years in office after George W. Bush ignored the annual celebration. Donald Trump became the first Republican U.S. president to recognize Pride Month with a tweet in 2017, although he never issued a formal proclamation.

We may be a day late here, but we invite Wonkers to celebrate however visibly you want to! We do, however, recommend a reflective vest if you're near a roadway after dark.

[Washington Blade / Transgender Day of Visibility declaration / Photo: Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons License 2.0]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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