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June 04, 2015

Transgender Pride flag now has an official home in Philly

Gender Equality Transgender
Transgender Pride Flag Contributed Art /Wikimedia Commons

The transgender pride flag.

Philadelphia held its first ever Transgender Pride flag raising ceremony Thursday, hosting the flag next to the United State and the City of Philadelphia flags at City Hall as the 14th Annual Philadelphia Trans Health Conference kicks off.

“Every October, LGBT History Month, the City of Philadelphia proudly symbolizes our steadfast commitment to equality for all by flying the rainbow flag,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “As a lifelong LGBT advocate and ally, I am honored to demonstrate our support of Philadelphia’s diverse transgender community by flying the transgender pride flag. Philadelphia will continue to fight for just and equal treatment of all LGBT individuals and work harder to promote understanding and recognition for our transgender community.”

“Historically, the transgender community has trailed behind the LGB communities in the advancement of its civil rights, protection and recognition in our Nation, Commonwealth and City. It is time to close that gap,” said Nellie Fitzpatrick, Director, Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs. “While the City of Philadelphia has made valiant efforts to protect and serve the trans community, we still have work to do to create a City of true opportunity for our entire LGBTQ community, especially the trans community. I hope that the raising of this transgender pride flag serves as a statement to the entire City and nation that Philadelphia remains committed to creating a City of equality for our transgender communities.”

The transgender pride flag was created by Monica Helms, a transgender woman, in 1999. Here's how she described the symbolism of the colors used:

"The light blue is the traditional color for baby boys, pink is for girls, and the white in the middle is for those who are transitioning, those who feel they have a neutral gender or no gender, and those who are intersexed. The pattern is such that no matter which way you fly it, it will always be correct. This symbolizes us trying to find correctness in our own lives."

The transgender community has been of particular focus lately because of Bruce Jenner's transition into becoming a woman, as detailed in a recent Vanity Fair article. 

The flag will fly at City Hall until the conference ends Saturday.