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International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) is celebrated annually on March 31. It’s a day dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by the transgender community globally.

This year, Westchester County Executive George Latimer marked the day by signing an Executive Order reaffirming the County’s unwavering commitment to promoting and encouraging dignity, respect and equality for all and ensuring the County Government will not tolerate hate towards LGBTIA+ individuals and communities in any form.

Latimer was joined at the Executive Order signing by members of the County’ LGBTQ Advisory Board, The LOFT Community Center Executive Director Judy Troilo and other LGBTQ advocates in Westchester County.

Latimer said: “Westchester County is a welcoming community no matter who you are, who you love, where you are from, or for that matter, any other reason. This Executive Order, a part of series of orders I am signing, makes the strong statement that our LGBTQIA+ community is a vital part of what makes Westchester our home.”

New York Attorney General Letitia James said: “Transgender and non-binary people are an invaluable part of our communities and should be treated with dignity and respect. I applaud County Executive Latimer for taking critical action to safeguard the rights of transgender people in Westchester County and for leading the way in creating safe and inclusive places for all.  Together, we will continue to ensure that transgender and non-binary people all across New York feel seen, heard, and valued, and that their rights are always protected.”

The Executive Order, in part, states that: “Westchester County’s community of residents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual/agender, or otherwise do not identify as heterosexual or cisgender (“LGBTQIA+”) or identities within any sexual and gender minority status including but not limited to gender nonconforming, non-binary, pansexual, queergender, and Two-Spirit are vital participants in economic, civic, and social life in the County. Westchester County has established its leadership in protecting its residents by adopting human rights and fair housing ordinances that explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, and protecting youth against persons holding themselves out as mental health professionals engaging in harmful treatment of so-called “conversion therapy.” It is the policy of the County of Westchester to affirm that all human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated and that the County and its communities must treat human rights in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing, and with the same emphasis.”

NYS Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said: “It is so important to reaffirm that Westchester County, as well as New York State, will always safeguard the rights of transgender and gender non-binary people. I am proud to have led the Senate in passing significant legislation, such as the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) that prohibits discrimination based on gender identity or expression and adds transgender New Yorkers to those protected by the state’s Hate Crimes Law, as well as historic investments in organizations that support the LGBTQ+ community. I thank County Executive George Latimer for his and Westchester’s commitment to our LGBTQ+ New Yorkers.”

LGBTQ Advisory Board Chair Chris Oldi said: “The LGBTQ+ Advisory Board applauds and provides immense thanks to the County Executive and his administration for their continued commitment to protecting the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community.  This Executive Order makes clear that Westchester County is a welcoming place to live, work, and be yourself and that your right to be who you truly are will be protected.” 

Westchester County Legislator & BOL Liaison to LGBTQ Advisory Board Erika Pierce said: “Westchester County is a welcoming county that aims to support all of its residents, especially those most at risk for experiencing hatred. Currently, our trans neighbors are suffering due to acts of hatred and assaults on their access to health care. I am proud to be part of a county that reaffirms its unwavering commitment to promoting respect and equality for all, and in particular today, for our LGBTIA+ individuals who need our full support.”

LGBTQ Advisory Board Member Joann Prinzivalli said: “With the stroke of a pen, our County Executive George Latimer has confirmed Westchester County’s continuing commitment to be a leader in the nation, confirming our county’s commitment to protect the rights of all our inhabitants to be free from bigotry and persecution. Our county’s commitment to diversity means that businesses located here are assured of access to the best, the brightest, the most creative, and the most talented work force in the nation."

The LOFT Center Executive Director Judy Troilo said: "The LOFT LGBTQ+ Community Center fully supports County Executive Latimer's executive order to protect, support and empower our community. This executive order reflects a crucial step forward in our collective efforts to ensure that all members of the LGBTQ+ community have access to the resources and protections they need to thrive. We applaud the county executive for his administration's commitment to creating a more inclusive and equitable society, and we look forward to working together to build a brighter future for all.”