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L.A.’s Transgender Advisory Council to issue report on Trump’s impact on community

Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell speaks at a press conference where he announced that the city’s Transgender Advisory Council will prepare and submit a report on how the Trump Administration has impacted the transgender community. Photo: Office of Councilman Mitch O’Farrell.

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles’ Transgender Advisory Council is expected to issue a report to the City Council this summer on how President Donald Trump and his administration are impacting their community.

PREPARING REPORT

The Advisory Council met Thursday night to discuss and start preparing content for the written report, which also will include recommendations on issues affecting the transgender community, such as support services for the homeless, HIV/AIDS care and job creation opportunities.

The advisory council, which was formed last year on Transgender Day of Visibility, was given its directive to prepare a report at the March 31 city council meeting.

The motion was introduced by Councilmen Mitch O’Farrell and Mike Bonin, both of whom are gay.

‘IGNORANT, PHOBIA-DRIVEN’

“We have a new president who has surrounded himself with radical ideologues, and we must combat their ignorant, phobia-driven, hostile approach to our community at every step,” O’Farrell said at a March 31 press conference. “His policy is mean-spirited, and if we don’t come out swinging, then we are all complicit in diminishing the rights of others.”

“This is a day of visibility, recognition, empowerment, determination, and resistance,” Bonin said. “We here in Los Angeles are saying very clearly that this is a City government that is going to stand up and insist on fair and equal treatment  of our Transgender sisters and brothers.“

Karina Samala, chair of the Transgender Advisory Council, said, “I am hoping to wake up from this nightmare that is called President Trump. Each day seems to bring more disturbing news to our community.”

HOSTILE TO LGBTQ COMMUNITY

Since he’s taken office in January, Trump’s administration has taken actions hostile to the LGBTQ community by rescinding Obama-era executive orders. For example, he has rescinded Obama-era executive orders that required firms doing business with the federal government to certify that they are fair to LGBTQ employees and gave guidance to public schools on letting transgender students use the bathrooms of their choice.

Vice President Mike Pence is also seen as an adversary of the LGBTQ community for signing a “religious freedom” law when he was governor of Indiana that gave legal protections to business owners who didn’t want to serve same-sex couples.

“Make no mistake about it. This is an evil, mean-spirited approach by the despot who is occupying the White House, and if we don’t come out swinging against this guy, then we are all complicit in diminishing the rights of others,” O’Farrell said.

Bonin vowed that the city will be on the forefront of opposing Trump’s agenda.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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