UNITED STATES NEWS

Often sidelined at Pride, transgender and nonbinary people move front and center

Jun 12, 2023, 9:04 PM

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Kara Murphy, a transgender woman helping to organize the Union County Pride in a suburb of Charlotte, North Carolina, is heartened to see Pride celebrations across the country, big and small, shining a spotlight on transgender rights this year.

“When we look and see who’s standing up for us, it kind of signals the strength of the movement,” she said.

Whether it’s transgender grand marshals at the massive New York City Pride parade or a photo display of transgender victims of violence at the much smaller festival in Hastings, Nebraska, many celebrations this June are taking a public stand against state legislation targeting transgender people.

Some Prides are putting transgender people front and center at events where they’ve often been sidelined because of a historical emphasis on gay and lesbian rights, along with the same sorts of prejudice and misinformation held by many straight, cisgender people about trans lives.

The growing number of new laws and policies, including restrictions on gender-affirming care, public bathroom use and participation in sports, has prompted Pride organizers to more fully embrace a segment of the LGBTQ+ populace that hasn’t always felt included.

While trans activists have always been integral to steps toward greater LGBTQ+ rights, “too often, the larger LGBTQ movement ignored or even actively erased the voices of trans and nonbinary folks,” Kierra Johnson, executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force, said in an email.

“Uplifting trans voices and fighting for trans liberation must be at the forefront of our movement” when the rights of transgender and nonbinary people are “under a coordinated attack,” Johnson said.

“We are specifically standing by and being supportive of those who are transgender, because we understand that they’re under assault, that their rights are under assault,” said Jonathan Swindle, organizer of Pride in Corpus Christi, Texas. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott recently 20 others have similar bans.

This year, Swindle said, steps to show solidarity include displaying the blue, pink and white transgender flag, offering Pride T-shirts in just pink and blue, involving trans advocacy groups at events, and offering resources for trans people, including legal help with changing gender designations.

Smaller events are also planned that bring people together, but Swindle said those won’t be widely advertised because of security concerns and potential threats. This year, he said, “the static in the air and the temperament is so much different” from 2022, when Pride seemed more celebratory.

One transgender board member, he noted, abruptly resigned last month and deactivated their social media accounts because they didn’t want to be in the public eye.

“This year, it’s like no, we have to fight through our messaging, as well as reach the young generation to help them understand that it’s going to be OK,” Swindle said. “Yes, they’re doing this, but we will be there. There are resources for you.”

Prides across the U.S. are using the annual event, often held in June to led by trans women of color — to highlight their support for transgender people.

Many are also supporting the drag community, which has also been the target of protests and legislation.

In Reading, Pennsylvania, Pride organizer Enrique Castro Jr. said that instead of a parade, a march dedicated to both the trans and drag-performer communities is planned. In addition to displays of flags honoring those communities, there will be a rally afterward at which Dr. Ashley Grant, a specialist in gender-affirming care, will speak and march with the group to her clinic.

The recent Pride in Hastings, a central Nebraska city of 25,000, was “edgier” than past years, acknowledged organizer Randal Kottwitz. With the theme “Rise Up” and dedicated to victims of trans violence, it included a speech by state Sen. Michela Cavanaugh, who signed into law by Republican Gov. Jim Pillen that bans abortion at 12 weeks of pregnancy and restricts gender-affirming medical care for people younger than 19.

In New York City, where this year’s Pride theme is “Strength in Solidarity,” organizers selected representatives of the trans community to be among the grand marshals of the June 25 parade. There are also plans to have a float carrying transgender people of color.

AC Dumlao, chief of staff for Athlete Ally, a group that advocates on behalf of LGBTQ and intersex athletes, and a transgender, nonbinary Filipino American, is one of the grand marshals. They welcome the attention at Pride this year.

“It’s really important for me to take this opportunity and attention to spotlight kind of what is happening across the country,” said Dumlao, noting how nearly half of U.S. states have banned trans athletes from playing in school sports. With a draw of about 2 million spectators on hand, they said the often-televised parade is a great opportunity to spread the message that trans athletes have “always been here.”

Murphy said the number of expected spectators at her Pride in North Carolina, planned for September, will be tiny in comparison with New York and won’t include a parade — but that the message will be no less meaningful.

“You can do so much just person to person, just walking around, meeting people at Pride,” she said, noting how the festival becomes an opportunity for people to tap into an informal network of people who might know a therapist or doctor or have a trans child who is trying to make friends.

“At this kind of a rural area, you don’t get the big demonstrations. You get the little assistance, person to person to person to person, that kind of starts to add up,” she said. “And yeah, if I could, we would have a just a trans pride parade on Main Street if I could, but I can’t do that.”

In Connecticut, where restrictions on transgender people are not being proposed, organizers of the Middletown Pride still placed a major focus on trans rights in this year’s events, which Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont attended.

“Just seeing everything that’s happening in the legislation (elsewhere), we definitely wanted to make it a priority,” said Haley Stafford, event coordinator for the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce which helps to organize Middletown Pride. “Just because it’s not happening to us right now doesn’t mean that it can’t end up happening further down the line.”

United States News

The setting sun illuminates the clouds over the Rocky Mountains after a third straight day of recor...

Associated Press

Monday is the hottest day recorded on Earth, beating Sunday’s record, European climate agency says

Monday was recorded as the hottest day ever, beating a record set the day before, as countries across the globe from Japan to Bolivia to the United States continue to feel the heat, according to the European climate change service. Provisional satellite data published by Copernicus early on Wednesday showed that Monday broke the previous […]

22 minutes ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump reacts after speaking at a campaign...

Associated Press

Trump expected to turn his full focus on Harris at first rally since Biden’s exit from 2024 race

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Donald Trump is holding his first public campaign rally since President Joe Biden dropped out of a 2024 matchup that both major parties had spent months preparing for, leaving the former president to direct his ire toward his likely new opponent, Vice President Kamala Harris. Trump is expected to turn his […]

3 hours ago

A runner and their pacer run as the sun rises behind them on California Route 190 during the Badwat...

Associated Press

Runners set off on the annual Death Valley ultramarathon billed as the world’s toughest foot race

DEATH VALLEY NATOINAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — During a rainstorm that partially obscured the light of a a nearly full moon, 97 runners pushed off in desolate Death Valley with the launch of a 48-hour annual ultramarathon billed as the world’s toughest foot race — the Badwater 135. After starting late Monday night, the men […]

3 hours ago

FILE - FBI Director Christopher Wray speaks during a hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee o...

Associated Press

FBI chief to face questions over Trump assassination attempt as he returns to Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON (AP) — FBI Director Christopher Wray is set to testify Wednesday about the bureau’s investigation into the attempted assassination of former President Donald Trump, with lawmakers at a congressional hearing likely to press him for fresh details about the gunman’s motive and background. The hearing before the House Judiciary Committee will represent Wray’s most […]

3 hours ago

President Joe Biden disembarks Air Force One as he arrives Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Tuesday, Ju...

Associated Press

Biden will make a case for his legacy – and for Harris to continue it – in his Oval Office address

WASHINGTON (AP) — Even though President Joe Biden won’t be on the ballot this November, voters still will be weighing his legacy. As Vice President Kamala Harris moves to take his place as the Democratic standard-bearer, Biden’s accomplishments remain very much at risk should Republican Donald Trump prevail. How Biden’s single term — and his […]

3 hours ago

Former U.S. Army medical technician Louis M. Gigliotti tours the Alaska Veterans Museum following h...

Associated Press

An Alaska veteran is finally getting his benefits — 78 years after the 103-year-old was discharged

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A 103-year-old World War II veteran who’s been paying his medical bills out-of-pocket is finally getting his veterans benefits from the U.S. government after 78 years. Louis Gigliotti’s caretaker says the former U.S. Army medical technician has a card from the Veteran Administration but he never realized he could use his […]

3 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 storylines to get you revved up for the 2024 Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals training camp is just a couple weeks away starting on July 25, and Sanderson Ford is revved up and ready to go.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

Often sidelined at Pride, transgender and nonbinary people move front and center