200 Tennessee Transgender visibility marchers occupy downtown Nashville streets
More that 200 hundred trans and allied people braved the cold Saturday to make history, marching in Tennessee’s first ever trans Visibility March. As significant as it was, mainstream and most gay media choose to stay away.
“That’s disappointing,” said LaSaia Wade, founder of the Tennessee Trans Journey Project (TNTJ), and the and organizer of the march, “but not surprising.” Asked about the 43 transgender murders since the year began she replied “We are at war” she said “Tennessee employers tell us to de-transition or be fired. Shelters reject us for our gender expression while state organizations ignore us and focus on marriage equality!”
Meanwhile, we’re slaughtered in the streets and mainstream media in Tennessee doesn’t care enough to show up for this event.
The March started at Legislative Plaza and proceeded west down Church Street, past the Hermitage hotel ending at OutCentral an LGBT advocacy group which according to Wade doesn’t allow TWOC to speak, let alone govern.
“We marched right down the center of the street!” said Wade. Asked about the public’s response and law enforcement’s reaction she responded “The public was very understanding. We have many friends there. And the police? They weren’t notified in advance, but they were very accommodating.”
Wade was very pragmatic when asked what effect this visibility will have. “It’ll probably get worse before it gets better” she lamented, “we are at war.”
“Today we’re demanding our rights.” Wade said, “Today we will leave here and spread the word that we will not stand without our rights. We will walk into spaces that don’t include us so we can speak about our rights. Some of these boards don’t have trans people on them. Some of these boards don’t allow trans people to speak. Some of these boards don’t include trans people or people of color. It’s time to change. We are the T [in LGBT] and you will – from here on out – include us in decision making, make us leaders, and allow us to lead, because if you don’t we will shut you down!” ~ Nashville Feminist Collective
One national organization does care. Elle Hearns, GetEQUAL’s Central Coordinator for the grassroots activism organization GetEQUAL contacted Planet Transgender about this. Everything does start at the grass roots.