NYC Trans Day of Action – June 24th, 2016.

This Friday is the 12th annual Trans Day of Action! This yearly event is a protest organized by the Audre Lorde Project in New York City to call for several different demands and in some part, remember that Pride is rooted in a police riot started by trans women of color.

Pride is still really important – it allows for a celebration of a community that’s regularly erased, discriminated against, and violently beaten. But it’s started to grow more into a corporate party that, like many other things, over represents white cis gay men and where police and banks often outnumber many trans community groups in several major city celebrations. Trans Day of Action puts trans people of color back to the front and center.

The Audre Lorde Project has a list of points of unity from a couple years ago that include: an end to police profiling, harassment, and brutality, access to respectful and safe housing, full legalization of all immigrants, accessible health care, and so much more. These points are what the Trans Day of Action is calling for in addition to centering and uplifting the history of trans and gender nonconforming community power!

If you don’t live in New York City (like me), there are other things you can do and a few trans pride marches around the country! Both San Francisco and Seattle are having Trans pride parades/marches on Friday, June 24th while the Toronto Trans March is happening Friday, July 1st. These are, of course, only a few of the trans marches that are happening around the country and there are even more marches and pride celebrations. (But if you are straight and cis, please read this before going and remember that these celebrations and marches are not about you.)

But there are other ways to help out too – like supporting queer and trans community organizations like the Audre Lorde Project and Sylvia Rivera Law Project. Or vocally opposing the bathroom bills that have been excluding and scapegoating trans and gender nonconforming people. Plus, it’s important to stop measuring a trans person’s worth based on their ability to pass and remember that there are so many things that trans people do not owe you (like details about their body).

We have come a long way in the last few decades but the reality is that there’s an enough longer journey ahead of us. I’m ready for the day in which violence against the queer and trans community is no longer common place, where people can openly walk down the street with their partners and not be harassed, where trans and gender nonconforming can freely be themselves without abuse. I’m ready for the day where there’s safe and respectful housing for all, a day in which there’s fully accessible health care, and so much more. We have a long fight in front of us but I’m always so glad to see people coming together in community to fight it together.

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