Illinois lawmakers recognize Transgender Day of Visibility

State Sen. Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) led an observance Thursday morning for the annual Transgender Day of Visibility. (Twitter/Senator Mike Simmons)

By Dave Dahl

SPRINGFIELD – A bittersweet backdrop – the recent deaths of two Black transgender Chicago women – accompanied State Sen. Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) as he commemorated Transgender Day of Visibility at the Capitol Thursday.

“In my role as Illinois’ first openly gay senator,” Simmons told a statehouse news conference, “I want to make certain that these matters are visible and ensure that the safety of LGBTQ+ community members are visible and seen as a priority.”

Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood) has learned quickly about the transgender community, as she is the mother of a transgender daughter.

“People fear and hate what they don’t understand,” said Lightford, “and my great-grandmother would always say, ‘When you know better, you do better.’”

The thirteenth annual Transgender Day of Visibility follows the deaths of Elise Malary and Tatiana “Tee Tee” Whetstone.

Dave Dahl can be reached at [email protected]


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