Responding to community organizing after the harassment of a local teen, Pittsburgh City Council unanimously declares Monday Sept 12 the FIRST “Protect Trans Kids” in the city of Pittsburgh. The proclamation was drafted and directed by a group of local transgender teens.
The project was launched by a group of teens with City Councilor Bobby Wilson after a 15 year old black teenager was targeted by a neighbor in his district. This launched the ‘Protect Trans Kids” projects as neighbors planted nearly 700 “Protect Trans Kids” yard signs around the community in less than 3 months. Wilson, inspired by these kids, initiated the proclamation and was joined unanimously by all other current council members.
“I am proud to have sponsored this first proclamation issued by Pittsburgh City Council to recognize Protect Trans Kids Day,” says City Councilman Bobby Wilson. “This is an issue that is important to me and to many Northsiders who have stood up recently in support of trans youth in our neighborhoods. My office is looking forward to presenting this proclamation on Monday, September 12.”
This proclamation is particularly impactful as teens 13-18 are one of the most targeted groups when it comes to anti-trans legislation. Pittsburgh City Council, in laying out the priority and needs of trans teens, stands in direct opposition to the wave of legislation in other regions. The proclamation recognizes the entire trans community’s contribution by identifying accomplishments and assets such as….
To minimize disruption to school attendance, Council will approve the Proclamation ahead of time during its regular session. On September 12, the trans teen committee, their families, friends, and supporters will gather for a small reception donated by Bistro-to-Go Cafe for Wilson to formally present the proclamation to the youth. Press can attend by contacting PLC by Monday at 2 PM.
To prepare, the teens participated in a training on proclamations led by Wilson’s staffer Mohammed Burny. PPS teacher Devin Browne from Brashear High School, facilitated the conversation and supported the youth as they laid out their priorities and concerns.
“Pittsburgh Public Schools has made really positive strides in supporting trans and gender expansive students, but this largely came about from our queer students organizing and speaking up and doing the hard work to educate their peers as well as their teachers around LGBTQ issues,” states Devin Browne. “We need similar steps from the city, and I’m happy to see this proclamation calling on us all to do our part to protect trans kids.”
The idea for a proclamation arose to formalize a City Council response to the events unfolding in Observatory Hill and around the region. Pittsburgh LGBTQ Charities (PLC) offered to coordinate as an extension of the PTK projects and plans to work with trans youth annually to sustain this awareness day.
Pittsburgh LGBTQ Charities noted the importance of including this age group as part of the planning process for the proclamation.
“We support these kids as becoming advocates for themselves as they are so frequently targeted,” says Sue Kerr, PLC Board President. “They also represent the kids in the O”Donnel-Collar family whose experiences of transphobic and racist harassment in their own home and community sparked the effort. Trans youth must have the opportunity to be their own voice, especially since they do not have access to the vote yet.”
The Proclamation offers a road map for City Council, the Mayor, and all City officials to consult as they move forward on their agendas, particularly the request to seek trans youth input on a variety of issues.
The trans youth authors of the Proclamation will formally receive it from Councilman Bobby Wilson on Monday, September 12, 2022 at 4:30 on Pittsburgh’s Northside.
The proclamation text can be found at http://bit.ly/ProtectTransKidsPGH
Media may register for the reception. Masks will be required.
The Protect Trans Kids projects centers the support and resources deserved by all trans kids to ensure they are healthy, respected, and have every opportunity. Yard signs and stickers are available at no charge at http://bit.ly/ProtectTransKidsSigns Donations are welcome
Pittsburgh LGBTQ Charities is a 501c3 charity established in 2021 to raise community awareness and promote grassroots engagement for neighborhood quality of life, animal welfare, anti-poverty, and LGBTQ+ issues in Western Pennsylvania.
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