Philly’s 9th-annual Trans March comes when it’s needed most

Philly’s 9th-annual Trans March comes when it’s needed most

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This weekend’s 9th annual Philly Trans March will take to West Philly’s streets in the name of justice, equity and liberation. On Oct. 12 from 1-4 p.m. at Malcolm X Park, on 52nd and Pine streets, community members from Greater Philadelphia and beyond will gather to mourn, celebrate and demonstrate.

While folks of all gender identities, expressions and experiences are welcome, the march is meant to remember, honor and stand in solidarity with trans, nonbinary and gender-nonconforming individuals.

This year, as the march “remembers community members who have transitioned to ancestor,” one name will be on everyone’s mind: Tameka “Michelle” Washington, a Black trans woman who was violently killed May 19. This year has already bore witness to the violent killings of 19 trans folks across the country. Of those, 18 were trans women of color.

Philly Trans March said in a statement the event will focus on issues of “hate violence, specifically against Black and Brown Trans Women, and the lack of official concern” as well as “police brutality.”  PGN has followed the case of Nizah Morris, a trans woman of color whose 2002 murder, which occurred minutes after receiving a police escort, has not been solved. In April 2018, trans attorney Julie Chovanes filed a Right-To-Know request asking for transparency in the Morris case.

After talks broke down this year, she filed a brief on Aug. 5 asking District Attorney Larry Krasner to release Morris’ records. On Sept. 5, two days after the filing deadline, the DA’s office issued a brief opposing transparency in the case.

Health care policies, misgendering, housing and financial insecurity, workplace discrimination and an overall lack of resources and access for trans, nonbinary and gender-nonconforming people will also be in focus.

Philly Trans March takes place four days after the Supreme Court heard three LGBTQ cases regarding Title VII, a federal law that prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin and religion. One case centered on trans woman Aimee Stephens’ firing from a funeral home because she came out as transgender.

The Trump administration’s opinion was made clear in an amicus brief it filed that argued Title VII does not prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or transgender status. The brief also misgendered Aimee Stephens every step of the way, indicating Philly Trans March’s concentration on workplace discrimination and misgendering is beyond relevant.

This weekend, PGN will be at Outfest and Philly Trans March. Read next week’s issue for detailed coverage. 

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