LGBTQ telemedicine company Folx Health has a message for Donald Trump: “Trans lives are precious.” And they’re making it extra clear with a large billboard near Trump’s Florida headquarters at Mar-a-Lago.
The single-sentence ad sits along Interstate 95 going through Palm Beach County and is the closest billboard to Mar-a-Lago. Folx Health hopes that it’ll serve as a reminder to him and all who drive past that transgender lives are supported and celebrated.
Rocco Kayiatos, VP of marketing for Folx, said the company chose that spot on purpose, to make sure Trump sees it.
The billboard went up on March 26 and will remain until April 18. It’s timed to the annual Transgender Week of Visibility, which was created in 2014 and happens every March 25-31. The week is a time for transgender people, activists and allies to come together to celebrate being trans but also to advocate for pro-transgender policies (Transgender Day of Visibility also exists, on March 31).
This year, ACLU attorney Chase Strangio and writer Raquel Willis have dubbed it “Transgender Week of Action,” and have used the last week to vocally oppose anti-transgender bills that are either passed or up for debate in Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas and Alabama and South Dakota.
Republican lawmakers in at least 25 states — that’s right, half the country — have proposed roughly 80 bills that would target transgender people and children’s rights, according to The Guardian and a recent Axios report.
In particular, legislatures are targeting sports; 26 states have introduced 41 bills that would bar trans kids from playing on the team that corresponds with their gender identity.
One proposed bill in Georgia would force transgender students to provide intimate details about their “reproductive organs, genetic makeup, and other medically relevant factors” to be allowed to play on any sports team.
21 bills are being debated that would criminalize providing transgender children with gender-affirming care. In some states, prescribing puberty blockers, hormones or authorizing surgeries for transgender kids would become a misdemeanor or felony offense (like Alabama), if the laws pass.
There is one bright spot for transgender Americans considering careers in the armed forces — President Biden removed Trump’s ban on transgender military service members just days after being inaugurated.
“As a man of transgender experience that began my transition more than two decades ago, I never imagined a future, because I could not see one,” Kayiatos added in a statement. “I would not have believed that I would make it to a time in my life, where I would be working for a company that would allow me to run a billboard with this messaging… Let alone that I would be working for a healthcare company dedicated to serving LGBTQIA+ people and prioritizing trans people first.
For trans people, visibility is about changing, affirming and saving our lives. More than just seeing other trans people’s images, the value of seeing a message — from your car while driving on a freeway in Florida — that your life is precious is just… I honestly would likely drop my jaw, start to cry and careen off the road.”
TRANS LIVES ARE PRECIOUS.
Please RT if you agree. This year for #TransWeekOfVisibility and #TDOV, we took over a billboard along I-95, outside of Mar A Lago. The billboard will be up now through April 18th.
— FOLX Health (@folxhealth) March 26, 2021
If you are gearing up to celebrate Trans Day of Visibility, join us for a week of action leading up. Here is the plan. More information each day. Today we start with Arkansas. #TransWeekofAction pic.twitter.com/LWIQusQhKu
— Chase Strangio (@chasestrangio) March 24, 2021
March 24-25: Arkansas
March 26-28: South Dakota
March 29-31: Alabama
— Raquel Willis (@RaquelWillis_) March 24, 2021