Simmons TransFlagCHICAGO – As the first openly LGBTQ+ member of the Illinois Senate, and the third openly gay, Black state senator in the nation, State Senator Mike Simmons raises awareness of the issues his transgender siblings face within the community and honors their experiences during Transgender Awareness Week.

“Transgender Awareness Week is about celebrating, uplifting, and honoring our trans community, while also rejecting hateful rhetoric through education and creating awareness about who transgender people are,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “Through sharing stories, and advancing advocacy around issues of prejudice, discrimination, and violence, we push inclusivity forward and combat transphobia in Illinois.”

As an ally and a member of the LGBTQ+ community, Simmons is committed to ensuring that members of the LGBTQ+ community feel seen, heard and respected, and are positively represented throughout the state and across the country. He has spoken out against attacks against the LGBTQ+ community on the local and national level, secured passage of and co-led numerous bills protecting LGBTQ+ communities, and has been known to aggressively push back against transphobic comments used in floor debate on the Senate floor.

Legislation championed by Simmons includes House Bill 1591 to protect marriage equality, Senate Bill 2133 to create more access to gender-affirming care in Illinois, Senate Bill 689 to preserve LGBTQ+ stories barring book banning, and House Bill 1596 to increase inclusivity of gendered language in pre-existing state laws and initiatives.

“Trans rights are human rights,” said Simmons. “I don’t take my responsibility as the first openly and only LGBTQ+ person in the Senate lightly, and will use this privilege as an elected leader to continue to be a voice for our trans community.”

 

View Simmon's full remarks in honor and recongnition of Transgender Awareness Week below.

 

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