'Let’s All Be Our Sister’s Keeper'

It may not have been sunny outside, but the smiles and colors shown at the National Trans Visibility March on Washington were enough to brighten the day.

Photo By Camryn DeLuca

On Saturday, Sept. 28, people gathered in Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C. for the National Trans Visibility March. The march was formed as a fight for equal rights in the transgender community, as well as a call for justice for those who were murdered for their trans identities. The morning began with several speakers. Valerie Spencer, a trans woman, and holistic life coach were the first to speak. Spencer asked the crowd to envision the trans community as a garden.

“Do you see the garden? This garden where liberation has flowered and bloomed, and we are here to water it ever more and say: Grow freedom! Grow liberation! Because we will never ever ever be withered,” said Spencer.

Participants donned trans and rainbow flags. Hannah Elyse Simpson, a transgender comedian, sold trans pride pins. Parents brought their children to witness a historical moment. 

“I’m not here to justify my existence. I’m here to demand to be respected and valued as a soul of divinity,” said trans activist and writer Apyphanie Dawn in her address to the crowd.

Photo by Camryn DeLuca

The march was a chance for people to proudly display their identity. Ray Randall, a trans woman, explained that this march was her first time in public dressing according to her true gender. She held a sign that proclaimed, “There Are More of Us Than You Think”

“I‘ve known this about myself for two years, and even before I did I was sick with the way [trans] people were being treated,” said Randall.

Both GenOUT, a chorus for LGBT and allied youth, and the Gay Men’s Chorus performed for the growing crowd estimated to be between 1,500 and 3,000 people. This was an event for all demograhics. Jay Sorenson, a cisgender woman, held a sign that said, “Pizza Rolls Not Gender Roles.”

 “As somebody with so much privilege, I thought it was important for me to come out and show that I support [transgender people.]”  

Photo By Camryn DeLuca

People expressed their feelings with a plethora of signs for the march. Some called for trans equality now. Others stressed the importance of voting. There was a large focus on the congressional passing of the Equality Act, a bill that would enforce the civil rights of trans people.

Trans activist Lynn Morrison included a sentiment she hoped would stick with the crowd in her speech. She stressed the importance of solidarity with our trans sisters.

“Let’s all be our sister’s keeper,” said Morrison.