Artemis Baca (her Sandum name in Latin which means “berry”) has come out publicly as a transgender woman. The Sandum peregrine citizen has long been out in the State of Sandus and her name and gender identity have been reflected in the State of Sandus’s census logs, the Tabulae Sande, since she was first a Sandum citizen in July 2016. Her out identity in Sandus was considered a state secret to protect Baca’s privacy, until she came out on Monday afternoon.
The Sôgmô congratulated Baca in the Council of the State of Sandus, applauding her sincerity and courage in coming out.
I would like to extend congratulations to our peregrine citizen, Artemis Berry, for coming out recently to the micronational community as trans.
Her identity has long been been accepted and recognised in Sandus, including on our official census (the “Tabulae Sande”), according to her personal will. Yet, after such a long period of self-reflection and meditation, she has decided to come out to the micronational community in general. While eschewing others’ prejudices to say that it is merely a “phase” and so on, she has shown that her decision to come out was carefully and thoroughly planned and conceived.
I am glad she has chosen this month to come out, for she can have even more pride in standing in solidarity with millions of queer people around the world—including with a large portion of LGBTQ+ people in the State of Sandus. Though she was concerned with the especially transphobic portions of our community, her decision to come out on this day—the first anniversary of the Pulse massacre—is especially poignant and telling of her courage, her openness, and her thoughtfulness.
These are, rightfully, Sandum virtues and ought to be recognised as such.
Sandus has a long history of supporting LGBTQ+ rights and causes. This year, Sandus marks its fifth annual LGBTQ+ Pride Parade, one of the longest histories of LGBTQ+ Pride in extant micronations. Sandus also commemorates a variety of LGBTQ+ holidays as days of recognition, including “Transgender Day of Remembrance,” “International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia,” and “Celebrate Bisexuality Day.” In addition, since 2012, Sandus has had a policy on the books to help trans* people transition by helping to cover transition-related expenses. Approximately half of the population of Sandus is lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, or queer.
In April, Baca became the scribe of the Office of the Sôgmô.