Partners celebrating Trans Day of Visibility


The mission of the Grand Rapids Trans Foundation, founded in 2015, is to "create opportunities for our local trans community to thrive and succeed." Photo via

The Grand Rapids Pride Center and Grand Rapids Trans Foundation have partnered to celebrate and extend the upcoming Trans Day of Visibility.

The March 31 holiday is dedicated to “celebrating the accomplishments and victories of trans and gender non-conforming people, all while raising awareness of the work that is still needed to save trans lives.”

The two organizations will be hosting various events from March 23 to March 31

March 23

The Kick-Off Fundraiser is from 5-8 p.m. at Apartment Lounge, at 33 Sheldon Blvd NE, Grand Rapids. It includes a raffle and is only for those ages 21 an over.

March 24

The second-annual Children & Family Reading Hour is from 3-4 p.m. at Books & Mortar, at 955 Cherry Street SE, Grand Rapids. Stories will celebrate trans and gender non-conforming youth.

March 25

For the second year, the Blue Bridge in downtown Grand Rapids will light up in the colors of the trans pride flag from 7:30-8:30 p.m.

March 30

There will be a free screening of the documentary “Real Boy: A Son’s Transition, A Mom’s Transformation” at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. at Celebration! Cinema North, at 2121 Celebration Dr. NE, Grand Rapids.

The documentary follows 19-year-old Bennett Wallace as he navigates sobriety, adolescence, and the evolution of his gender identity. His mother makes her own transformation from resistance to acceptance of her trans son.

Each screening is followed by a reception in the Wave Room, with the opportunity to talk to Bennett Wallace and his mentor, Joe Stevens.

March 31

The last event is a reception from 2-3 p.m. and an open-mic session from 3-6 p.m. at University Club, at 111 Lyon St. NW, Suite 1025, Grand Rapids.

The open-mic session is for guests to share trans-themed stories. The event features a special guest, Rachel Crandall-Crocker, executive director of Transgender Michigan and founder of TDOV!

The event is family inclusive, but adult language may be used by some of the speakers.

Grand Rapids Pride Center

Sanctioned in 1988 as The Lesbian Gay Community Network, the Grand Rapids Pride Center strives to empower West Michigan’s LGBTQ community through supportive services and awareness.

The organization hosts several support groups, community education and sensitivity trainings and leadership and volunteer opportunities.

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