Oregon Governor Declares December “Transgender Youth Awareness Month”

For the first time in the United States, a state has officially recognized the status, rights and pediatric medical needs of transgender children and youth.

The State of Oregon, by proclamation of Governor John A. Kitzhaber, M.D., has named December 2012 to be “Transgender Youth Awareness Month” in Oregon.

This proclamation was issued in response to a request by three-time Pride Foundation Grantee, TransActive Education & Advocacy, Portland-based non-profit serving families of transgender and gender nonconforming children and youth worldwide.

“This is a landmark step forward, not only for the families of these children, but for the well-being of all children”, said Jenn Burleton, TransActive’s Founder and Executive Director.

“While certain far-right political and religious elements continue to engage in culture-war (which they are destined to lose) over sexual orientation issues, all children and youth continue to be victimized, bullied and harassed for not conforming to arbitrary and oppressive gender stereotypes. And while you need not be transgender or genderqueer to experience this abuse, transgender kids feel the brunt of this more deeply and destructively than almost any other group.”

As a leader in advocacy for trans children, youth and their families, TransActive has been successful previously in getting similar proclamations from both the City of Portland and Multnomah County, in which Portland resides.

The proclamation states:

Whereas: Transgender and gender nonconforming children and youth are among the least understood, most marginalized and underserved populations of Oregonians despite constituting at least one percent of all children and youth; and

Whereas: Transgender children who receive the love and support of their families, friends, neighbors, communities, schools and culture have every opportunity to thrive and be successful; and

Whereas: Transgender adolescents deserve access to pediatric medical care and healthcare coverage that affords them the opportunity to experience physical puberty in a way that is congruent with their gender identity.

Now, Therefore: I, John A. Kitzhaber, M.D., Governor of the State of Oregon, hereby proclaim December 2012 to be Transgender Youth Awareness Month in Oregon and encourage all Oregonians to join in this observance.

As part of “Transgender Youth Awareness Month” in the State of Oregon, TransActive Education & Advocacy (“TransActive”) has released a new video that provides an overview of how public awareness of trans* child and youth issues (particularly in relation to early recognition and intervention) has developed over the past 20-years.

Watch “TransActive: The True Story” on YouTube!

To contact TransActive about their services or advocacy work, please visit their website or send them email at: info@transactiveonline.org or call 503-252-3000.

For more information on Pride Foundation’s grantees, including TransActive, please read our 2012 grantees announcement or contact Oregon Regional Development Organizer jett@pridefoundation.org

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