Last night, in a ceremony at Harvey Milk Plaza following a march from Civic Center, trans activists and LGBT supporters raised the transgender pride flag on the big Castro flagpole for the first time. The flag-raising follows amonths-long kerfuffle with the Castro merchants association who initially resisted the proposal to fly the flag — originally discussed as flying at half mast, in honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance, on November 20. The reasoning had to do with the stability of the huge flag itself and pedestrian safety when any flag is at half mast — the merchants noted that no flag ever flies at half mast there for this reason.
Many people got upset, however, at the notion that trans people were being denied this honor, especially after earlier decisions allowing the Leather Flag to fly in the week before Folsom Street Fair, and the Bear Flag that flies every President’s Day.
Ultimately, the Board of Merchants of Upper Market and Castro, who became stewards of the rainbow flag in 2001, agreed to fly the Trans flag at full mast, and tonight there was a flag-raising ceremony presided over by La Moni Stat, who was set to have a protest tonight if the flag request had been denied. “This is a celebration of the great Transgender people who have come before us, and the celebration of the great Transgender people who are still with us. In numbers we find strength,” she said.
The flag will fly all day Tuesday, November 20. To learn about Transgender Day of Remembrance events around the country, look here.