Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

500 March for TransJustice in NYC

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | June 26, 2010 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: The Movement, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: Audre Lorde Project, NYC, Trans Day of Action, TransJustice

I wrote yesterday about my plans to attend the march organized by TransJustice of the Audre Lorde Project.ype-2010-06-25 16.37.11.jpg

It was well-attended and inspiring. 500 is my conservative estimate. There could have been more - I'm not a practiced crowd estimator. The crowd was diverse, motivated and spirited. People need to study what this group is doing. It works. Get Equal, are you listening?

Now, as one of our well-known commentators here on The Bilerico Project likes to ask: What did this accomplish, other than a lot of demanding and yelling? Where's the proof?

Is community solidarity an accomplishment? I think it is, and more than that, it is a necessary precursor to political representation.

This Day of Action unquestionably furthered a sense of community solidarity around issues facing the trans community in New York City.

The speech given by Lourdes Hunter, Chair of the Transgender Program Workgroup of the Brooklyn Community Pride Center was a major highlight of the event. Impassioned and knowledgeable, her speech was inspiring and motivating.

A video of her speech, chants of the marchers and pix of the crowd after the jump. Will you see proof of community solidarity? Check it out after the jump.

Let's start with the best first. Here is Lourdes Hunter, Chair of the Transgender Program Workgroup of the Brooklyn Community Pride Center. As you can hear, she is impassioned and knowledgeable about the issues facing the trans community. This woman needs to be cloned and sent around the country.

Here's some pix of the crowd. Click to enlarge.

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Here's some of the march chants. You can feel the force of the crowd.

No Justice, No Peace, No Transphobic Police

Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Transphobia's Got To Go

The People United Will Never Be Defeated

So what do you think of the Trans Day of Action? Do you agree that it made a difference for community solidarity?

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Tab Hunter’s Ghost | June 26, 2010 7:30 PM

What a wonderful event, Jillian! Wish I could’ve been there to support the effort. The pics are great and make me homesick for NYC in all its lovely diversity. When I attended the Center in Chelsea during graduate school one of the things that impressed me most was the amount of community building that went on there. Keep up the great work!

Thanks, Jillian, for this inspiring story.

What's my problem?
I check into bilerico, Pam's House, and A LOT of other LGBT sites. But, I wasn't there.

Hou could I miss this?
How did YOU know in advance?

There was a wondeful turnout, that could have been even better. I, like many of us, appreciate spontanaety, or even, short notice. Yet, I feel bad that I did not even know about it, and I am visitng the NYC area right now.

How could we have alerted more activists earlier?

Good question, Ray. I learned about it from friends at the Manhattan LGBT Center. You're right, I didn't see it anywhere online. I'm wondering if this is the "digital divide" they talk about? And welcome to New York!

I think it is always helpful for members of our community to stand together. Hopefully their message reached people. Certainly, for those in attendance it must have been uplifting and encouraging.

Can I ask - how many in attendance were L/G/B, standing with T?

That's a good question, Andrew, as to how many LGB's were there. It's hard to tell who's who, but I had the feeling that there were at least a few dozen who were LGB.

I received numerous invitations on facebook. I'm sorry I didn't look into it. Terrific event Julian. I will cross post a video and a link to Bilerico on planetransgender and my facebook profile. Maybe next year more peeps including myself will be aware. Rock on!

Stonewall Girl Stonewall Girl | June 27, 2010 11:02 AM

Are these the same folks who fought against GENDA, a statewide law that would help them and all transpeople in New York?

lourdes hunter | June 27, 2010 11:20 AM

GENDA will not only help trans people but protect anyone from discrimination based on gender identity or expression. It also will hurt marginalized communities do to the hate crimes verbage that's included.

GENDA is yet another law that without enforcement,monitoring and adherence on local state and federal levels mean less than the paper its printed on...

Stonewall Girl Stonewall Girl | June 27, 2010 1:31 PM

any law is no good if it is not enforced, but if you dont have a law how can you enforce?

How can hate crimes verbage that protects trans people possible hurt them?

Sorry I don't get it!!

Regarding your question about how hate crimes language can hurt marginalized communities, here's a good explanation of the problem from a great community organization, the Sylvia Rivera Law Project. http://srlp.org/genda

I'm not sure that I agree with the reasoning ultimately, but I think it's sure something important to understand and think about. Laws by themselves are not the answer. When poorly thought out, they can do more harm than good. Law is not about justice; it's about rules. One must always ask: whose rules are these?

Stonewall Girl Stonewall Girl | June 28, 2010 11:29 PM

Depriving transpeople of opportunities in employment, housing and public accommodations will not give transgender people of color or any other transpeople the opportunities to acquire the status and political capital to make the necessary long term societal changes to reverse the current imbalances in the penal system and injustices in general suffered by the marginalized socio-economic communities.

Laws are not the answer, there is no panacea, no silver bullet, but laws can serve to educate, give opportunities to break down walls of ignorance and the chance to help ourselves. To deny transgender people the opportunity to help themselves is, in my opinion, playing into the hands of our enemies and doing our community a great disservice.

If we really want to create change we cannot force ourselves on the sidelines!

lourdes hunter | June 27, 2010 11:10 AM

I really appreciate the kind and humbling words of the author. The rally and march is annual, this was the 6th. It was publicized online and through word of mouth. As one of the initial TransJustice workgroup members and Community Organizers who championed its creation, I posted it on my fb page and invited any and everyone I knew.

It is one of the few PRIDE Events in nyc thats created,devloped and coordinated by Trans and gender non conforming folk fighting for Equality For All...

As many are celebrating LGBT Pride Trans folk are fight for the rights many take for granted....access to Housing,healthcare, employment..the basic elements for survival..

Yes there is a gulf ,information sharing and community building within our many diverse cultures can be limited and @times restricted. The manhattan center is great with this task, as well groups like Audre Lorde Project and Brooklyn Community Pride Center are working to bridge the gap..

I spoke what I felt, it came from my heart.

Thx again for your support Jillian....
And thx 2every1 who came out and marched in Solidarity!

What a great speech, Lourdes. Thanks for everything you are doing for the community. I appreciate you.

Lourdes, you are awesome. I'd love to hear more about the work you are doing. I'd also love to participate in some way.

lourdes hunter | June 27, 2010 6:09 PM

Hate Crimes legislation overwhelmingly effects communities of color. Minorities are disproportionately represented in the prison system already. To continue to lock people up is not a solution for rehabilitation(as we continue to experience high rates of recidivism).

Yes you are right! we need laws on the books to protect us all!!! Without education and cultural competence, incarceration only breeds further resentment and continued disenfranchisement of already socio economically challenged groups.

As yes Hate crimes legislation can and already has been used to incarcerate trans people.

500 is great turnout. I hope Lourdes and others will share how they got that many people to show up. I'm guessing they went beyond "social networking" and examined the resonance of their message.