Categorized | IN OUR COMMUNITY

Transgender visibility event stretches across Lake St. into St. Paul

Posted on 18 November 2018 by calvin

Protesters gathered along Lake St. from Chicago Ave. and into St. Paul, in a demonstration of solidarity with the local transgender, intersex, and gender-expansive community. (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

By MARGIE O’LOUGHLIN
On Oct. 28, local transgender community members and allies came together for a visibility event. People of all ages lined the south side curb of Lake St., starting at Chicago Ave. heading east well into St. Paul. They stood or sat, shoulder to shoulder, and did not obstruct traffic or sidewalk use.

Minneapolis City Council members Phillipe Cunningham and Andrea Jenkins, who are both transgender, addressed the crowd in front of the Third Precinct Police Station at Minnehaha Ave and E. Lake St. Trained marshals from the Minnesota Women’s March provided critical support along the protest route.

The event was in response to the Oct. 25 Department of Justice statement that workplace discrimination against transgender people does not violate federal law. On Oct. 21, the New York Times published a memo in which the Department of Health and Human Services discussed plans to revoke Title IX civil rights protections on the basis of gender identity. Many of the protest signs declared, “We won’t be erased.”

Photo right: The event, which was pulled together in two days, received praise for its accessibility. There was no march to coordinate; people just showed up along the route to sit or stand for one hour. (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

1.4 million Americans identifying as transgender, or a gender other than the one they were assigned at birth. An unknown number of Americans are intersex, or were born with any of several variations in sex characteristics including chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals outside of what is typically seen as male and female.

One participant said, “The event was hugely significant, I feel, for its visibility. Often, transgender people are forced to hide who they are or are scared of what will happen if they’re out or outed. For them to be that visible, and to be so well loved and supported, was tremendous.”

 

 

 

 

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