Planting Peace has been on the forefront of spreading equality and love in the face of hatred: In 2013, the organization purchased a home across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church compound in Topeka.
The group then painted it the colors of the rainbow and declared Equality House a symbol of peace and positive change for the LGBT community.
Now the group’s expanding its mission—literally—by buying the house next door and making it a welcoming space for trans people.
Appropriately, the new edifice has been painted the colors of the trans flag: Pink, blue and white.
“Beyond the individual incidents of violence, bullying and hateful messages that the transgender community faces already, we’ve seen a rise in discriminating legislation designed to restrict the fundamental rights and human dignity of our transgender family,” said Aaron Jackson, President of Planting Peace.
“We hear the stories from countless transgender people who express the devastating impact this has on them, making them feel broken or ’less than.’
The idea for a trans house came from 8-year-old Avery Jackson, who is transgender herself.
“I love the transgender flag—it’s beautiful and makes me smile,” says Avery, who helped paint the new house. “I’m happy that we will have a house painted like the flag to show that transgender people are beautiful and will make them smile.”
Martin Dunn of the Dunn Development Corporation says Avery’s bravery inspired him to fund the purchase of the house.
“She should be so proud of what she has accomplished,” said Dunn. “I have three kids, and if one of my children were transgender I would want there to be places that accepted and celebrated them.”
Dunn added that he and his family live in a progressive neighborhood but he knows that’s not the reality for all young people.
“Like the Equality House before it, a transgender house that makes people feel proud, safe, confident and supported is badly needed,” he said. “Every city should have one.”
It seems the folks at Westboro Baptist have noticed their brightly colored neighbor, at least judging by this tweet.
— God Hates The Media (@GodH8sMedia) June 28, 2016
Photos: Grace Phelps-Roper