On Saturday, more than 200 people marched in protest through Washington, D.C., demanding justice for Leelah Alcorn, the 17-year-old trans girl who, in publicly posting her suicide note and plea for social change, has ignited international attention to the oppression many trans youth face daily.
Organized by a group of local trans advocates, the gathering featured a fiery speech by Lourdes Ashley Hunter, the National Director for the Trans Women of Color Collective, who took the moment to make it clear that denying trans people agency, identity, and access to healthcare, housing, employment, and family-building are all acts of violence.
"What message are we sending our young people?" Hunter asks in the News2Share video below. "I am here to let them know that their lives have great purpose. That each and every one of them are loved, are important, and their lives have tremendous value. I am here to let you know that our lives matter."
"I am here to tell you that we don't need to be fixed," she continues. "What is wrong is society's depraved indifference, willful ignorance, complicity, and inactive engagement with the systems that deny trans people our humanity and our right to life."
Watch more of Hunter's impassioned call to action below.