Congressman Promotes California Transgender Campaign that Encourages Safety and Respect
San Jose, CA – U.S. Representative Mike Honda (Silicon Valley, Calif.) today joined individuals from the transgender community, statewide LGBT organizations, businesses, faith-based leaders and community members to promote Transform California – a statewide campaign founded by Equality California and the Transgender Law Center to promote respect, understanding and safety for the transgender community. As part of the effort, coalition members signed a Transform California pledge – opposing discrimination against transgender people.
“Transform California is an important step toward transgender equality and I am proud to represent a State that is working to provide a example of acceptance to the rest of the nation,” said Representative Mike Honda. “As a proud grandpa of a transgender grandchild, it is essential for discrimination in the transgender community to be stopped so that everyone feels safe and confident being who they are.”
Transform California is building a coalition of Californians committed to promote respect, understanding and safety for the transgender community and work to end violence against transgender people. According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, “transgender people face extraordinary levels of physical and sexual violence, whether on the streets, at school or work, at home, or at the hands of government officials. More than one in four transgender people has faced a bias-driven assault, and rates are higher for transgender women and transgender people of color.”
“My story is a story of opportunities. Both the opportunities my family had by coming to this country, and the opportunities I’ve had to live a safe and healthy life as my true self as a transgender man,” said Dexter Fan a San Jose-area college student and transgender leader. “I want everyone in our state and in the world to have the same chance at happiness and success I’ve had, and that’s why I’m supporting Transform California. I hope you’ll join me!”
The coalition celebration in San Jose was held at San Jose City Hall and attended by local coalition members including, Representative Mike Honda, Michelle Honda-Phillips, transgender community advocate and daughter to Congressman Mike Honda, Dexter Fan, transgender community leader & college student, Father Jon Pedigo, Working Partnerships USA Deputy Director Elly Matsumura, Isa Noyola, Transgender Law Center Program Director, Kris Hayashi, Transgender Law Center Executive Director, and Tony Hoang, Equality California Deputy Director.
Additionally, Representative Mike Honda called on state leaders to take the Transform California pledge and show California’s dedication to end discrimination towards transgender people. Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de Leon, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, Senator Ricardo Lara, Assemblymember Susan Eggman, Assemblymember Evan Low, Senator Jerry Hill, Speaker Emeritus Toni Atkins, Assemblymember David Chiu, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia have already signed the pledge and are working to encourage safety and respect towards the transgender community.
“It is very simple, everyone deserves to live without fear of being discriminated against simply because of who they are,” said Kris Hayashi, Transgender Law Center Executive Director.“Right now, we’re seeing several states pushing measures that single out transgender people for harassment and discrimination. This needs to stop and it’s time for California to set an example and make the state a place where all transgender people can live safely and authentically.”
Transform California first launched the coalition in Los Angeles with San Jose serving as the second stop of regional rallies throughout the state, all of which will be attended by organizations and individuals from vastly different landscapes, including civil rights organizations, business leaders, and local and state elected officials, among many others. While varied in background, the mission of every Transform California coalition member is the same: promote respect, understanding and safety for the transgender community, and oppose discrimination of all kinds.
By signing the Transform California pledge coalition members are openly declaring to make a meaningful effort to change the statistics on violence and discrimination that transgender people face each and every day. For more information on Transform California or to sign the coalition pledge and join the movement, visit www.TransformCalifornia.com.