ALL PHOTOS BY KEIKO HIROMI
“Members of the Boston’s Transgender/Gender non-conforming communities are taking back our Pride. Since the 2016 election, we have had an additional layer of barriers added to our daily lives.”
A Trans Resistance vigil started off in Franklin Park at 3pm on Saturday before participants marched through Roxbury, eventually reaching the Boston Police Department precinct in Nubian Square. Flanked by more than a dozen cosponsors and organized by Trans Resistance, an organization of “Black and Brown trans people and allies, with Black and Brown trans people taking the lead,” the action was meant to “honor the legacy of Stonewall by coming out to the most authentic PRIDE in 50 years.” In the words of Transgender Emergency Fund Director Chastity Bowick, who released the following statement along with other members of vigil/march committee:
As the world reflects on the 50th Anniversary of Pride, it is a somber moment for members of the Transgender community. We all know Pride was the outcome of the Stonewall Riots which were started and led by Transgender Women like Marsha P. Johnson, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, and Sylvia Rivera. Since its beginning, Transgender visibility during Pride parades has been limited and we are rarely represented on boards of Pride committee.
Members of the Boston’s Transgender/Gender non-conforming communities are taking back our Pride. Since the 2016 election, we have had an additional layer of barriers added to our daily lives. The Trump White House has perpetually and explicitly fueled hatred and harm towards our communities. The administration has given transphobic and racist individuals permission to discriminate, abuse, and kill us.”
We say No More, as we come together this Saturday in solidarity for our community members taken away from us due to violent attacks. We are India Moore, Mesha Caldwell, Sean Hake, Vontaisha Bell, Ashanti Cameron, Muhlayshia Booker, Dustin Parker, Tony McDade and so many others who have been taken from us.
We gather in the face of oppression with the hopes of change. We hope our allies will rise alongside us to fight for our rights. We hope our family members stand with us. We hope the Black community will support and love black Transgender individuals. We hope that our voices will change laws across the United States giving us equal rights and protections. We hope that police brutality in America will be ended. These are the hopes that we, the Transgender community, will all get to live long, beautiful, sustainable lives.
Boston’s Transgender vigil will open the eyes of community-based organizations who claim they serve us to see & hear us. How can you serve us if you don’t know what we need? We need a seat at the table so we can be better served. This will be a peaceful event while encouraging our allies and family members to stand with us in our fight for social justice and an end to our oppression.
Funds raised through and around the action benefitted the Transgender Emergency Fund, the “only organization dedicated to supporting low income and homeless Transgender individuals in Massachusetts,” assisting with “homelessness prevention, shelter assistance, nutrition assistance, prescription co-pay assistance, transportation and escort to medical appointments, etc.”
Following the rally, Transgender Emergency Fund organizers wrote to supporters on social media: “We are in awe of yesterday’s beautiful vigil and march! Black Trans people took back pride and filled the streets of Boston with thousands of people marching for Black Trans lives! TEF raised more than $70k in one day. With the money raised we plan to open up a homeless shelter. Our goal is $100k and you can help get us there! No amount is too small!! Give what you can! If you can’t donate, please share and spread the word!”