West Hollywood is getting on the transgender bandwagon.
The city, long hailed for its support of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) rights, has devoted most of its energy (and significant financial resources) to supporting the gay male community, which studies have shown make up 40 percent of the city’s population of just over 34,000 people.
But the City Council tonight will consider several proposals aimed at supporting transgender people, whose percentage of the city’s population is unknown.
One is a proposal by Councilmember Abbe Land that would require all “single-stall” public restrooms to be “gender neutral.” The goal, according to Kiran Hashmi, Land’s deputy, is “equal access and public safety for members of our transgender community — who can often experience harassment and even violence when using public restrooms. The intent of this item is to be a model for our neighboring citys and those across the country.”
The Council also consider Monday whether to support a bill introduce in the California State Assembly by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) that would require local registrars of births and deaths to enter an individual’s chosen gender identification on a birth certificate.
“Current law contains no legal guidance about how the official determinations are made in regards (of) death records for transgender individuals,” states the proposal by Councilmember John Duran. “This results in situations where the information on the certificate is not consistent with the deceased lived and authentic gender identity.”
And finally, the Council will consider a proposal by Mayor John D’Amico to appropriate $12,500 to support “Trans.ient,” an art exhibit and panel discussion focused on the transgender community. The exhibition will be staged at two places in West Hollywood in conjunction with Transgender Awareness Month, which is in November. The Council also will decide whether to declare Nov. 21 as “Trans Day of Action” in WeHo.
The transgender community, long a relatively silent minority in the campaign for LGBT rights, has become more visible in recent years. One example of that is the decision by Christopher Street West, the producer of the annual LA Pride parade and festival, to rebrand its events as focused on the “TLGB” community as opposed to the LGBT community.