Press Release

For Immediate Release: March 29, 2019

Union County marks Transgender Day of Visibility on Sunday

As Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) approaches this weekend on Sunday, March 31st, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders declares support of this important day and recognizes that TDOV is about more than visibility—it’s an opportunity for all to be an ally.

TDOV is a day dedicated to celebrate transgender and gender nonconforming individuals and the courage it takes to live openly and authentically, while also raising awareness around the discrimination transgender people still face in today’s society.

“At a time when quality of life for members of the transgender community is constantly under attack by the current administration in Washington – with obstinate and direct attacks on transgender members of the military – TDOV reminds us that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights,” said Freeholder Chair Bette Jane Kowalski. “The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders calls on the people of our county to embrace this principle and work to eliminate prejudice and injustice where it exists.”

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders stand in support of all transgender people, and condemns attempts to stigmatize and marginalize them. The Freeholders believe transgender individuals have the right to a full quality of life as respected members of our families, communities, and work force.

“The Freeholder Board is proud to support and partner with organizations, community groups and other government and nongovernment agencies to advance programs and services that impact the quality of life for members of the LGBTQ community,” said Freeholder Rebecca Williams, liaison to the Freeholder LGBTQ Ad Hoc Committee.

Parents, educators and community members are invited to attend a free educational presentation, “What Parents Need to Know about Transgender Individuals” being held at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23 at the John H. Stamler Police Academy on the Union County Vo-Tech Campus, 1776 Raritan Road in Scotch Plains.

Presented by Dr. Paula C. Rodriguez Rust of Spectrum Diversity, LLC, the purpose of the presentation is to help parents, educators and other adults better understand gender identity and transgender issues, and to provide tips on how to speak with children and adolescents about these sensitive topics, as well as addressing any questions or concerns any attendee may have.

The program, free and open to the public is hosted by the Union County Human Rights Commission (a commission under the Union County Prosecutor’s Office) and co-sponsored by the Office of the Union County Superintendent of Schools and the Union County Office of LGBTQ Affairs.

The Office of LGBTQ Affairs, under the Department of Economic Development, was established by the Freeholder Board in 2018 and is the first and only county government office of its kind in the State of New Jersey and offers a platform for leadership and collaboration to support equality, and serves as a catalyst for advocacy, awareness and action on current and emerging issues that impact the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals. For more information about the Office of LGBTQ Affairs, contact Danni Newbury, Coordinator, at 908-527-4742 or dnewbury@ucnj.org or visit ucnj.org/LGBTQ.

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