De Blasio’s mandate sparks change

Cheyanne Gonzales, General Manager

New York City is globally known for their support for the gay community and fighting for equal rights. On March 7, Mayor Bill de Blasio mandated that people have access to all public facilities that coincide with their gender identity. He spoke about how New Yorkers have an “obligation” to lead the nation in regards to transgender equality.

This new law brings an important issue within the transgender movement to light: their push for recognition of the gender they identify with.

Questions have been brought up about de Blasio’s lack of awareness for the rights of other people.

Joseph Backholm, executive director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington, talked to the Washington Times and said,“Here’s what we need to realize: Everyone in this debate has rights.Transgender people have the right to go to the bathroom. But, everybody else in the state of New York or the city of New York or whatever state we’re in, they all have legal rights to privacy that are real. And, the problem is governments choosing one person’s rights over everybody else, rather than recognizing that everybody has an interest here, and we need to behave like adults and make sure that nobody gets to say my rights trump your rights because I say so.”

Over the past decade, there has been an increase in recognition for transgender rights through social media. Celebrities like Orange Is the New Black actress Laverne Cox, American advocate, Chaz Bono and Olympic gold-medal winning decathlete, Caitlyn Jenner, have each individually brought attention to the transgender movement.

De Blasio’s new law has New York City creating the path for the LGBTQ community and their movement for government and public recognition. It’s only the beginning for the transgender community.