The crowd gathered to protest legislation that prevents trans youth from accessing gender-affirming care in various US states.
Dozens of protesters, mostly high school students, marched from Union Square to Washington Square Park to raise awareness of anti-transgender bills being proposed across the country on Thursday. At the meeting organized by the student village NYC Youth 4 Trans is rightparticipants spoke to the crowd about their experiences with transgender rights issues.
Over the past few years, state legislatures across the country have passed bills that affect the rights of LGBTQ+ and transgender youth. Most recently, Florida passed the bill that cut off access to gender-affirming health care for transgender youth by barring minors from being prescribed puberty blockers and hormone replacement therapy. At least 18 other states are considering a similar policy.
Mina, a high school student who helped organize the protest, said they will not support the government’s transphobic policies and will continue to protest until they see change.
“Transphobia is not something that doesn’t happen anymore, and it’s not something we need to worry about,” Mina said. “This is something that actively happens all the time, and it’s dangerous, it’s unacceptable, and I hope people learn that we have to stop it now. If we don’t get out here and stop this now, it’s not going to stop and trans people will literally be illegal, and that’s horrible.”
Youth organization also participated in the rally on Friday, February 17, to mourn the death of Brianna Gee, a 16-year-old transgender girl who died after being stabbed by two teenagers in England. British authorities are investigating Gay’s murder as a hate crime.
Noemi Israelson, a former NYU student, attended the protest and said it’s important to look at the positive side of the trans experience in the face of hate and negativity.
“Visibility is important, we’re not just numbers and we’re not just horror stories,” Israelson said. “We have life, we have vitality, we have all this to give to the world in our communities, and it just sucks that because of who we are, we’re not allowed to do that.”
Contact Adriana Neme at [email protected] and Bruno Horvat st [email protected]