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I'm Demanding Justice at Saturday's Trans Visibility March


Kiara St. James of New York Transgender Advocacy Group on why we must take to the streets for TNGC rights.

On September 28, defiant and fierce TGNC (transgender/gender non-conforming) folks and our allies from across the nation will be marching on our nations's capital to show this hostile administration that has intentionally targeted TGNC folks and our families' right to exist.

We will not be deterred by this administration's destructive policies and bigotry. We will not be erased. We will fight with fierce determination for our dignity and right to exist. We have watched -- from the rolling hills of the Blue Mountains of Tennessee, to the plains of Texas, and from as far away as Hawaii and Puerto Rico and to our major urban cities across this torn nation -- our rights being eroded. We will come together with the righteous determination to be seen and heard around the world with a strong message to the bigots who continue to target us. We will not be erased and though we may be battered and bruised we still will win. We will vote, we will run for office, we will not hide because: Trans. Joy. Is. Resilience.

As a Black Trans woman -- a descendant of enslaved African ancestors whose blood soils and stains the consciousness of this divided nation -- I want this administration and its supporters to know that it is my birthright to live unapologetically in my truth, with the knowledge that it is my birthright and the birthright of All Black TGNC folks to have agency over our lives. This year alone, nearly two dozen Black Trans women of color were murdered. This is unacceptable and we all should be outraged, but the violence we experience is also structural and just as deadly. As founder and executive director of New York Transgender Advocacy Group, I will continue to use my platform to highlight these issues and to partner with other trans-led, civil rights, and faith-based organizations to work on micro, mezzo, and macro levels to build a cohesive coalition to fight back against these inhumane polices.

In the words for Zora Neale Hurston, "If you are silent about your pain, they'll kill you and say you enjoyed it." And this is why we march.

Trans Visibility March festivities will begin at 9 a.m. with a speaking and musical program in Freedom Plaza (1455 Pennsylvania Ave. NW). The march itself will step off from Freedom Plaza at 11 a.m. It takes about 20 minutes walking time to reach John Marshall Park, the end of the march. Find more information here.

Kiara St. James is the founder and executive director of New York Transgender Advocacy Group.

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