On the weekend that the city’s LGBTQ Pride festival and march, canceled due to coronavirus, was to take place, thousands of people took to the streets of Boston to march for transgender rights and racial equality.
The Boston Globe reports: “Saturday was intended to mark the triumphant half-century celebration of an event that, over the years, had morphed from a defiant and daring declaration of sexual orientation into Boston’s single largest annual parade, a colorful and family-friendly event that attracts up to 1 million people and a slew of corporate sponsors. But the coronavirus pandemic had already forced the cancellation of the parade and shifted many of the celebration’s other events online when the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police ignited worldwide protests against systemic discrimination.”
WBZ reports: “The group Trans Resistance says it is made up of trans people of color and their allies. Saturday’s event was seemingly inspired by the recent climate of protest in the nation and the variety of voices being heard. Demonstrator Megan Anderson said the time is right for protest. ‘We are standing here together in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and our black transgender brothers and sisters. … We have a monster in the White House right now who is trying to erase transgender women.'”
Said Athena Vaughn, a lead organizer, to the Globe: “We’re reminding people that you have the power that you have when it comes to pride because of Black trans and nonbinary individuals who decided to start a riot against police brutality. That power was given to you by trans people of color. Now is the time we’re taking our power back and steering it in the direction it should go because the people in power have not done what they were supposed to do with that power.”
Check out videos of the march below.
As Towleroad’s John Wright reported on Friday, the Trump administration late this week finalized a regulation that removes Obama-era transgender nondiscrimination protections in healthcare.
Roger Severino, director of the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services, told the New York Times the timing of the regulation — on the fourth anniversary of the Pulse massacre and in the middle of LGBT Pride month — was “purely coincidental.” Severino also falsely claimed the change was “equivalent to housekeeping.”
From the NYT: The rule, which does not differ much from a proposed version released last year, is part of a broad Trump administration effort across multiple areas of policy — including education, housing, and employment, as well as health care — to narrow the legal definition of sex discrimination so that it does not include protections for transgender people. … Transgender rights advocates criticized the timing for another reason: the coronavirus. “It’s really, really horrendous to not only gut nondiscrimination protections, but to gut nondiscrimination protections in the middle of a pandemic,” said Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, the deputy executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. “This rule opens a door for a medical provider to turn someone away for a Covid-19 test just because they happen to be transgender.”