Santa Clara County /CALIFORNIA
This week the County of Santa Clara raised the Transgender Pride Flag for the first time at a County building to commemorate International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV), and to kick off a series of LGBTQ community resource and awareness events through April.
“I’m thankful to have this occasion to celebrate the lives, struggles, and achievements of the transgender community here and across the world,” said Supervisor Ken Yeager, the first openly gay elected official in Santa Clara County. “Raising the Transgender Pride Flag at the County Government Center for the first time serves as a reminder of the progress we’ve made and the work still unfinished in the fight for equality.”
Supervisor Yeager was joined by local transgender rights activist Lance Moore at the flag raising ceremony. At a Board of Supervisors meeting following the ceremony, Supervisor Yeager offered a proclamation declaring March 31 the Transgender Day of Visibility in Santa Clara County, in recognition of the strength and resilience of the transgender community. The Transgender Pride Flag, will fly through the entire month of April, just below the Rainbow Flag, raised last June for the first time following the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality.
“With this flag raising, we hope to honor the resilience of our transgender communities and celebrate their contributions,” said Maribel Martínez, Manager of the County Office of LGBTQ Affairs. “This visual cements our commitment to a truly inclusive county.”
Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) Celebration – April 2, 2016
This year, the TDOV celebration in Santa Clara County will take place on April 2, 2016, from 1:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the Billy DeFrank LGBTQ Community Center. The event will feature LGBTQ resources related to medical care (including HIV testing on site), legal concerns, social issues, and family relationships, original films, art, and social space. More info at: www.southbaytdov.dancingbull.net.
The newly opened County of Santa Clara Office of LGBTQ Affairs will be onsite at the South Bay Transgender Day of Visibility celebration. Staff will share about the multiple services provided through the County of Santa Clara and offer participants an opportunity to give input on key priorities for The Office of LGBTQ Affairs.
National Transgender HIV Testing Day – April 18, 2016
National Transgender HIV Testing Day is a day to recognize the importance of routine HIV testing, HIV status awareness, and continued focus on HIV prevention and treatment efforts among transgender people.
Transgender women experience a high rate of HIV infection, but very few HIV prevention campaigns specifically address the needs of this community. Even fewer HIV prevention resources exist for transgender men.
The County of Santa Clara will participate in the Inaugural National Transgender HIV Testing Day (NTHTD) on April 18, 2016, that includes testing sites at the Crane Center and AACI Hope Program at Billy DeFrank LGBTQ Community Center, in San Jose.
“The Public Health Department is very pleased to be celebrating International Transgender Day of Visibility with community partners,” said Sara H. Cody, M.D., Santa Clara County Health Officer and Public Health Director. “Each of us is healthier when we are accepted, recognized and celebrated for who we are, and when we all have equal rights and opportunities.”
National Transgender HIV Testing Day (NTHTD) Sites:
The Crane Center
Anonymous and Confidential HIV Testing
976 Lenzen Avenue, Suite 1800 San Jose, CA 95126 (southwest side of building)
(408) 792-3720 www.GetTestedSCC.org
Monday April 18, 2016 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
AACI Hope Program @ Billy DeFrank LGBTQ Community Center
Anonymous and Confidential HIV Testing
938 The Alameda San Jose, CA 95126
(408) 293-3040 http://hiv.aaci.org/get-tested
Monday April 18, 2016 4:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
“The transgender community has historically been underserved and under-represented. It is still marked with a high rate of unemployment, homelessness, and targeting for hate crimes due to social stigma,” said Crystal Haney, HOPE Program Assistant at Asian Americans for Community Involvement HIV Outreach, Prevention, and Education (HOPE) Program. “The creation of a National Transgender HIV Testing Day shows that our voices are finally being heard. We are finally getting positive public representation and appropriate public services directed toward us. We are finally being told that our health matters too!”
About the County of Santa Clara is Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Affairs.
In January 2016, the County of Santa Clara opened the Office of LGBTQ Affairs, the first in the nation at the county level dedicated to serve the LGBTQ community. Only the City of Philadelphia and Washington DC had dedicated government offices for the coordination of LGBTQ Affairs, but no representation had reached a county or state level until then.
The primary functions of the County of Santa Clara LGBTQ Office includes: training County staff and community stakeholders on LGBTQ issues as they relate to clients, residents, and employees; offering guidance to County departments seeking to fairly and properly serve LGBTQ individuals; ensuring all County departments are following best practices when it comes to treatment of LGBTQ clients, residents, and employees; representing the County to local, state and national government agencies, school districts and nonprofit organizations on LGBTQ issues; identifying further gaps in services to LGBTQ residents and develop resources to address them; and promoting and collaborating on LGBTQ community events, including those that foster dialogue and increase access to services for the most disenfranchised members of the LGBTQ community.