KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With an eye toward raising awareness, Friday is International Transgender Day of Visibility.
It’s a celebration of all facets of transgender people, and it’s highlighted by a visit from a significant figure in the LGBT-QIA community — Admiral Rachel Levine from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
As a four-star admiral in the U.S. Public Health Commission Corps,Levine is the highest-ranked transgender person in the United States government.
Levine addressed a Friday afternoon crowd at the World War I Museum and Memorial, acknowledging their importance.
The admiral said HHS is working to advance policies to keep all people safe and healthy, including the LBGT-QIA population.
“Progress is not real unless it means progress for all. Today, we must strongly advocate for the most underserved nd marginalized in our community,” Levine said.
Politically speaking, Mayor Quinton Lucas referred to Kansas City as a blue dot in a red sea. The mayor said Kansas City is observing this occasion so visibly to make up for mistakes of the past, and to remind all people they’re safe and welcome in this city.
“In the future. we will make sure everyone, everyone in our state knows they have a place where they can be safe here with all of us,” he said.
“We need to say publicly to every transgender person living in this country — and every transgender youth living in this country — it’s OK to be you. That’s not just on National Transgender Day of Visibility, but every day,” Levine added.