LGBT advocates talk transgender healthcare, empowerment in Jersey City

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Over 100 guests attended an LGBT elected officials meet and greet at Transmission in Jersey City to discuss transgender healthcare, empowerment and much more.

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“Hudson County and Jersey City are one of the diverse areas in the county and there are lot of issues that our residents face and what we want to do is we want to make sure that people are aware of those issues and that they know who are their champions and who is speaking out on their behalf. What the issues really are and how they can do something about that,” explained Hudson County Young Democrats President Brian Platt.

Platt further shared his opinion on unisex bathrooms.

“You should be able to feel comfortable where you work, where you go to the gym and where you socialize and to force people into categories where they don’t feel they belong certainly isn’t something that we can stand behind.”

Another main issue discussed with transgender inclusive health care.

New Jersey Democratic State Committee’s LGBT Caucus Chairman Christopher Hillmann told Hudson County View the issue is “one of the forefront of something that we are fighting for as a community now.”

“Legislation in New Jersey, like the birth certificate bill that will allow transgender people to alter their birth certificate to reflect the gender that they actually are, allowing them to get the healthcare needs that they actually deserve.”

Hillmann further explained that healthcare helps prevent depression, suicide and possible solicitation in order to financially fund treatment especially for those who are in the process of transitioning.

Hillmann, also the Chief of Staff for Assemblyman Tim Eustace (LD-38), also noted the efforts in Bergen County against anti-LGBT jury selection.

Another message for the meet and greet was really to get the LGBT community to get involved in the local and state community as a whole.

“Let’s get ourselves volunteering. Let’s put ourselves on board. Let’s run for office. Let’s meet our elected officials. Let’s empower our community by getting involved,” stated Michael Billy, co-chair of Jersey City Pride.

The event also served as a fundraiser for victims of the Orlando massacre that took place last month, similar to a Jersey City event county officials hosted last week.

Also in attendance were Hoboken Freeholder Anthony Romano (D-5), Hoboken 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco, Jersey City Council President Rolando Lavarro, Jersey City Board of Education Trustee Gerald Lyons, West New York Board of Education Trustees Adam Parkinson and Jonathan Castaneda – among many others.

The event was hosted by the Hudson County Young Democrats.