Gov. Whitmer Speaks Out on International Transgender Day of Remembrance

Governor addresses community directly in video and post on social media

Sarah Bricker Hunt

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer posted to X, formerly Twitter, today to commemorate the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.

“Trans Day of Remembrance is a day of reflection and mourning. While we may never be able to fully heal the wounds caused by discrimination and hate, we can work towards creating a more inclusive future where every person is celebrated and the beauty of diversity is embraced,” she wrote in the post.

Gov. Whitmer also included a short video in the post, which included these remarks:

“We observe this day and condemn acts of hate that have been committed against trans people across the world. I want to make one thing clear. Michigan stands with the trans community. We’ll fight to build a Michigan that’s more inclusive and welcoming for everyone so no one has to live in fear of being targeted because of who they are.

Earlier this year, I expanded protections under Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. We took action to make sure no one could be fired or evicted because of who they are and who they love.

I want to send a message to anyone living in a state that does not respect who you are. Michigan has a place for you. Let’s keep fighting the good fight.”

Gov. Whitmer was unequivocal in her support of the trans community when she sat down for an interview with Pride Source earlier this year. When asked about her thoughts on the enduring issue of violence against trans women of color in the wake of Ashia Davis’ murder in June, she spoke of the work she had done in the legislature that has informed her position as a strong ally.

“I can tell you that when I was in the legislature, we got really close to amending Elliott-Larsen,” she told Pride Source Editorial Director Chris Azzopardi. “It was a Republican Senate Majority Leader [Randy Richardville], who I think was trying to do the right thing. but did not understand the community like I had gotten to. It's always a process to become an ally. You have to learn, you gotta listen, you gotta ask questions and not be afraid to do all those things.”

Gov. Whitmer added that Richardville had suggested leaving the “T” in LGBTQ+ behind when it came to amending the civil rights act. “I said, ‘I don’t think you understand this community. We’re never gonna go for that,’” she recalled. “He's like, ‘Are you telling me you'll vote against something that gives civil rights to lesbians and gay people?’ And I said, ‘They would want me to, to make sure that we don't go forward without the trans community because they're uniquely vulnerable.’ And he just didn't understand that. And I don't fault him for it, but that was a moment where it was a learning moment for me to become a better ally to give voice to why the trans community is so uniquely vulnerable.”