In March 2013, the rainbow-colored “Equality House” opened up in Topeka, Kansas right across the street from the infamous Westboro Baptist Church (y’know, the “God Hates Fags” people?). For the last two years, the house — which serves as drop-in LGBT center and a home for local volunteers — has painted itself in the colors of the transgender flag as a way to commemorate the Trans Day of Remembrance.
But now, Planting Peace, the humanitarian non-profit behind Equality House, is raising $70,000 to buy the lot adjacent to the Equality House and set up a “Transgender House” that would be painted like the trans flag year round.
According to the crowdfunding page:
Last year, eight-year-old Avery Jackson, a transgender child, visited the [Equality House] while it was painted with transgender pride and realized there must be a community of people who would support her. It was that day she decided to start showing her face in pictures because she knew she’d be safe and accepted.
“I loved the Rainbow House when it was painted like the transgender flag. I felt so happy and proud to be transgender.”
Avery’s story touched us so much that Planting Peace has joined forces with her to expand one house over… growing our presence of peace and acceptance for all people…
Though Topeka has employment anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people, Kansas doesn’t — it also has no public accommodations laws, hate crime laws protecting LGBT people and its current laws require trans people to undergo medical treatment before changing their government-issued IDs or birth certificates.
We’ve asked Planting Peace whether the Equality House or Transgender House will work to reform these laws and make Kansas a more LGBT-friendly state. We’ll let you know what they say. Until then, a pink, blue and white-colored house that openly welcomes trans people will still make a powerful social symbol, especially next to a rabidly anti-LGBT church.