Towns raise transgender flags

Melissa Jenkins
Published on March 30, 2015
Carbonear Mayor George Butt Jr. (left) raises the Transgender Flag at the Conception Bay Regional Community Centre with the help of Jennifer McCreath of the East Coast Trans Alliance.
Photo by Melissa Jenkins/The Compass

Tuesday is International Transgender Day of Visibility, but two towns in Conception Bay North raised flags a day early to celebrate the event.

Carbonear and Harbour Grace each raised a transgender flag, something that is being done across the country by municipalities that have agreed to stand in solidarity with those who identify as a different gender than their physical sex.

Transgender activist and East Coast Trans Alliance co-founder Jennifer McCreath visited Torbay Monday morning, followed by Harbour Grace at noon and Carbonear at 1:30 p.m. By her side were couple Jake Foley and Sarah Downey. They took with them the flags, which have horizontal stripes in order baby blue, light pink, white, light pink and baby blue.

Carbonear Mayor George Butt Jr. addressed the crowd in his town, which consisted of several members of the town staff and a couple of locals.

“We’re the town that says you’re welcome, and that includes to everybody,” Butt said.

Ceremonies will take place in Middle Cove, Grand Falls-Winsor and Gander Tuesday as well to spread the same message.

“We are trying to spread the word that there are trans people all around the country, not only in the big cities,” explained McCreath.

Downey, who is from Makinsons, was happy to be back near her hometown for the flag raisings. The Compass was at the Carbonear raising, where she recognized Carbonear for the many years of support the town has given.

“We’re really excited that Carbonear is such a diverse and progressive town,” she said. “There are some people in Carbonear that might not be out, but seeing that flag shows them that their town embraces and celebrates them.”