Women of color take center stage at D.C. Trans Visibility March

Washington D.C., transgender visibility march, protest
Photo: Shutterstock

Yesterday, thousands of transgender people and allies marched in the National Transgender Visibility March on Washington D.C.. While many demonstrators marched in opposition to the Trump administration’s repeated attacks on trans rights, trans women of color (TWOC) marched front and center to highlight the continued wave of violence they and other trans women face.

Related: Alexandra Billings is about to make transgender history on Broadway

In the days leading up to the march, its national organizing director, Marissa Miller (a black, trans woman living with HIV), told The Washington Blade:

“The march and related events will also focus on the dangers faced by transgender people in their daily lives as demonstrated by at least 18 and possibly more murders of transgender women in the U.S. so far this year who were believed to have been targeted because of their gender identity and expression. Seventeen of those 18 were trans women of color.”

The Saturday march began with a two-hour rally from 9-11 a.m. at Freedom Plaza where 11 of the 14 speakers were people of color.

The speakers included Angelica Ross, the trans actress who starred in the FX series Pose and recently hosted the 2020 Democratic candidates’ LGBTQ forum; Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign; Bamby Salcedo, founder of the Los Angeles-based [email protected] Coalition; and Carter Brown, founder and executive director of Black Trans Men, Inc.

Here’s a complete video of the rally:

Various participants shared images from the march via social media (below).

One of the largest banners asked (in all caps), “How many of us have to die for you to get involved?” Simultaneously, a contingent of marchers advocated for protecting trans women by decriminalizing sex work, a professional sometimes taken by trans women to gain economic security amid widespread discrimination.

Here are shots from the march:

“Many of the participants [arrived] on buses and flights arranged and paid for by a special scholarship fund set up for those who don’t have the financial means to travel to D.C.,” writes The Washington Blade.

Along with the march, the weekend’s events also featured panel discussions on healing the community, conquering financial anxiety and sharing trans stories with loved ones and the media.

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