transmarch1

 

Approximately 150 transgender activists, allies, and equality supporters marched in the Grove on a frigid Thanksgiving Eve for the annual Trans and Ally Rally/March organized by the Metro Trans Umbrella Group (MTUG).

 

Participants met at the parking lot of Commerce Bank, on the corner of Sarah and Chouteau, where guest speakers rallied the crowd railing against violence targeting the transgender community before marching down Manchester.

 

“The voices of transgender people, our beloved trans sisters [and brothers] and un-fostered people of color are at the vanguard of our movement,” explained organizers. “We are shouting on behalf of those who do not have a worldwide platform. We are tired of fleshly human beings being shoved to the margins of our political, social and emotional consciousness.”

 

Marchers successfully shut down Kingshighway holding hands for 4.5 minutes of silence before chanting “Trans Lives Matter!” It was the largest demonstration in the city that night in a week filled with protests following a grand jury's decision not to indict Ferguson, Mo., officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown.

 

“Police brutality is a trans issue because many trans folks are people of color,” offered organizers. “Police brutality is an LGBTQ issue because many LGBTQ folks are people of color. Intersection of race and gender matter because you are benefitting from these institutions or oppressed by them. You are affected. Our community is affected.”

 

The march and rally capped off a week of events marking Transgender Awareness Month including the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) observances around the city and the Transgender Spectrum Conference held at University of Missouri – St. Louis.

 

TDOR, observed Nov. 20th, honors those transgender lives lost to violence during the past year. According to the TVT Project (TransRespect Vs. Transphobia), in 2013, 238 Trans people were murdered. 237 were trans women. As of Oct. 29, 2014, 226 trans people had been killed – all women.

 

The Transgender Spectrum Conference was held Nov. 21-22 at UMSL and brought together over 350 trans activists and allies for the interdisciplinary event dedicated to educating participants about a wide range of transgender issues.

 

“The conference was amazing and successful on many levels,” said Sayer Johnson of MTUG. “During the recap session many stories were shared of individuals being educated and empowered; individuals learning things that they will carry back to their practices, employment settings and classrooms; stories of folks who are trans being able to be their authentic selves for the first time in a public setting.”

 

“We will soon begin planning the 2015 conference with details soon,” Johnson continued. “We hope to build on the success and momentum.”

 

Photos courtesy of Philip Deitch. Check out more of Philip’s photos at our Facebook album here.

 

A complete set of photos related to documenting Ferguson will be available at digital.sustl.edu/ferguson under Philip Deitch. For further info contact plloyd ‘at’ aol.com

 

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