MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) – Thousands of people across the country gathered Friday as part of Transgender Day of Visibility in support of transgender people’s rights and their resilience. among whom many entered as if more and more hostile.
Supporters gathered in states across the nation, at the Capitol in Washington, DC, and as far away as Mexico City and the Portuguese capital of Lisbon to proclaim a day of international unity more than a decade ago.
He sings: “We’re here, we’re queer, we’re used to it!” many at the statehouse in Montpellier, Vermont, presented themselves with pride flags or posters with messages such as “yay gay” or “protect trans kids.”
A young Transgender man stood before a Vermont crowd and spoke bitterly about the lack of support for his gender identity and sexuality.
Charlie Draughn, a 17-year-old high school senior from Chisago City, Minnesota, who attends boarding school in Vermont, said he is angry that the group is trying to control his life and turn him into a political pawn.
“My life is none of your business,” said Drake. “It’s not about politics. I’m not hurting anyone, and I’m certainly not hurting myself.
Associations with Republican lawyers nationwide have pursued hundreds of proposals this year to push back the rights of LGBTQ+, especially transgender residents, including banning transgender girls from girls’ sports, transgender people from using restrooms in line with their gender identity and demanding. schools to deadname transgender students — ordering them to be identified by the names they are born with.
“We are not a new idea. We are not new to Penelope Towers, who traveled from Chicago to Washington DC, where more than a thousand people marched from Union Station to the reflecting pool. “We have always been here, we have always been part of the community and it is time to We would recognize each other and give equal protections.
At least 11 states have enacted laws limiting or prohibiting gender-affirming care for minors: Alabama, Arkansas.Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Utah, South Dakota and West Virginia. Federal judges have blocked enforcement of the laws in Alabama and Arkansas, and two dozen states are considering plans to restrict or ban care this year.
On Friday, President Joe Biden issued a statement supporting Transgender Day of Visibility and affirmed that transgender Americans deserve to be safe and protected in every community. He denounced what he called hundreds of hateful and extreme state laws that target transgender kids and families.
“Let’s be clear: it’s an American-un-American attack and it has to end,” Biden said. “Importants, crises, and political attacks that face trans kids have exacerbated our national crisis.”
Surrounded by pride flags and carrying signs outside the Alabama capital of Montgomery, about 100 young people marched mostly around the state, where lawmakers last year approved the nation’s first law to make it a felony to provide gender-affirming drugs to transgender minors and pass laws. governing which bathrooms schools and sports teams can access for transgender kids.
Rhydian Gonzalez, an 18-year-old high school student at the Magic City Acceptance Academy, founded as a school that welcomes LGBTQ students, said anti-transgender bills don’t help anyone.
“Transition saved my life and so many others and I think it’s so important for people to understand,” said Gonzalez, who began socially transitioning at 14 and started testosterone therapy at 16.
“Without him I don’t think I’d be here,” Gonzalez said.
In Connecticut, Democratic Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz, state attorneys, transgender advocates and others applauded and cheered as the Transgender flag was raised in Hartford for the first time in the state.
State Rep. Dominique Johnson of Norwalk, who identifies as a nonconformist, approved the date for the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City.
“We stand on the shoulders of our elders, and we want our future generations to stand on our shoulders,” Johnson said. “The legislator will be the first to use singular pronouns in this firmament, but he will not be the last.”
Montana supporters rallied at the state Capitol in Helena in support of the transgender, nonbinary and two-spirit community, two days after the Montana Legislature passed a final bill that would have banned sex-affirming medical treatment for transgender minors. The president did not say if he signed the bill.
Remi Still Smoking, 17, said the bill and another that would define gender in state law as only male or female are “distorted.” Transgender people are not part of a fad, or something new, said Quisque, who is Native American.
“You don’t want to go back to the room,” Yes Quisque said. “I am happy that I am and people understand what I want. I do not hurt my body. I am normal.”
Outside South Carolina in Columbia, spring bubbles filled the air as Greg Green, executive director of the Transgender Awareness Alliance, came to hug people.
For Green, the day was about showing people who don’t have a safe enough outlet that their identity is still valid.
“I’m visible to show those who are not okay that you are where you are,” said Green, a former police officer, whose organization trained volunteer marshals to help monitor safety during the celebration.
“This year is a little scarier because there has been such an attempt to destroy trans people and our community,” Green said.
In Topeka, Kansas, more than 100 people, many of them transgender youth, marched around the Statehouse to celebrate transgender identity and protest proposals before the Legislature to roll back transgender rights.
International Transgender Day of Visibility was created in 2010 by an advocate who stated that most media coverage focused on anti-transgender violence, rather than the positive contributions to society made by transgender people, according to the advocacy group GLAAD. Serious advocates say that transgender visibility can improve because many voters and policymakers take actions that affect transgender people’s lives without knowing the transgender person.
Aspen Overy, 19, of Burlington, Vermont, who came out as transgender two years ago, said she attended Montpellier County to show support for other trans people.
“I think this is the story of Vermont as such a lovely, perfect little state,” Overy said. “But as many of today’s trans kids have said…those kids still frequently face so much hate and discrimination, they live for their lives and it’s not okay.”
Associated Press reporters Mike Pesoli from Washington, DC, and Anna Schoenbaum from Raleigh, North Carolina, contributed; Kim Chandler in Montgomery, Alabama; Amy Hanson in Helena, Montana; Susan Haigh in Hartford, Connecticut; James Pollard in Columbia, South Carolina and John Hanna in Topeka, Kansas.