Denton Mayor Issues Proclamation to Recognize Local Trans Community

Mayor Chris Watts Proclaims Transgender Awareness Week with members and allies of the local trans community.

Though election nights can be more stressful evenings for the queer community than any other typical Tuesday, this Nov. 6 came with a gesture from the city of Denton.

“Transgender people have contributed to every aspect of American society including this community, government, the arts, education, military, technology, and more” said Mayor Chris Watts, as he proclaimed Nov. 12-19 Transgender Awareness Week.

The proclamation, aimed at improving local transgender community visibility, was organized by Amber Briggle. She pointed out during the proclamation that .6 percent of the population is transgender, which “adds up to more than 800 Dentonites.”

“It’s really nice to know that the people who make the decisions that affect [my son’s] daily life here in Denton care enough about him that they’re willing to do this proclamation, which may seem controversial to some people… but the fact is that trans people are here; they’ve always been here; they will continue to be here,” Briggle said.

The proclamation issued by Mayor Chris Watts to the transgender community in Denton.

Daniel Bryant-Gawne, project director of the Denton chapter of Trans-Cendence, hopes that this week will help raise visibility of transgender/nonconforming people and address the issues their community faces. The nonprofit serves as an international resource center for transgender individuals.

When allies in the audience were asked to rise, both City Councilwoman Deb Armintor and Councilman Paul Meltzer joined.

“I’m not a trans person, I am an ally - but this is what trans looks like – this, this, this, this [motioning to the trans individuals accepting the proclamation] – is what trans looks like – trans looks like people. So, thank you so much for coming out tonight,” Armintor said.

Many from the community came out in support.

“This means a lot,” audience member Nyx Halla said. “It’s not something I would think to see in Texas but out of all the cities in Texas, I feel that Denton would be the first to do something like this.”

More events for Trans Awareness Week in town will include Trans Story Time at North Branch Library on Nov. 17, Transgender Awareness Panel at Denton Universalist Church Nov. 18 and Transgender Day of Remembrance Nov. 20. You can find more info on their organization on the Trans-cendence Facebook page and on the OUTreach Denton Facebook page.

Daniel Bryant-Gawne is pictured holding the proclamation with Denton LGBTQ liaisons Sara Kuechler (leftmost) and Chris Summit (third from left), activist Amber Briggle (on Summit’s left).

Header image by Zendra Morales.

Header design by Tori Falcon.