Defeat bosses’ campaign of division
With just a month to go, the National March to Protect Trans Youth & Speakout for Trans Lives is catching fire. A growing number of endorsers in Florida and nationally have signed on.
The march will gather at 12 noon on Saturday, Oct. 7, at Orange and Anderson streets, near City Hall in Orlando, Florida. Following the march, protesters will return to the City Hall site for a speakout featuring local trans youth, groups from around the country, and musical performances.
The protest will call for reversing the vicious measures enacted by Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida legislature as well as their counterparts in other states, banning gender-affirming health care for trans children and adults, prohibiting queer students and teachers from being out at school, banning trans people from using public restrooms that match their gender, and other genocidal policies.
Organizers aren’t just focused on attacks on the LGBTQ+ community. They say they hope to unite all those under attack by the far right in Florida and nationwide.
The demand “Stop racist attacks on our communities” is prominently featured on the leaflet and poster, which also draws attention to the suppression of voting rights and repression of Black history in schools.
The protest will also demand free, accessible abortion on demand, an end to threats against Pride celebrations, and dropping the charges against the Tampa 5 protesters.
Organizers aren’t letting Washington off the hook either – they demand that the Biden administration stop sitting on its hands and enforce civil and human rights.
You can read the full list of demands at ProtectTransKidsMarch.org.
“DeSantis and the capitalists he represents are using these attacks to distract us from the fact that they are slashing social programs and handing money over to war corporations and oil companies,” says Sally Jane Black of the Louisiana Women’s Action Committee. “Their anti-trans agenda isn’t what the people want or need — it’s just an attempt to divide us and terrorize us.
“The only answer to that is to fight back, which is why we’re marching in Orlando with those who have been standing up against him, uniting LGBTQ+ people and everyone DeSantis has targeted against him and his rich backers,” Black told Struggle-La Lucha.
Melinda Butterfield of Women in Struggle/Mujeres en Lucha explained, “We have an amazing multigenerational, multinational, multigender team organizing for this historic anti-fascist event – but we need your help!
Butterfield urged readers to fill out the sign-up form at the website. “Our priority in September is to get out to schools and colleges with leaflets and posters and to spread our social media presence far and wide. Sign up at our website, come to a zoom meeting, join a committee, make a donation – every effort helps!
“If you are able to come to Orlando for the march, now is a great time for you and your friends to make travel plans. Find out who else is going from your area. We can help you find housing options,” she explained.
“We’ll have people coming from all over the U.S., and many need help with transportation costs. Please give a donation if you can.”
Butterfield added that readers can download posters and leaflets in English and Spanish from the website to be printed and distributed.
“A very easy way to help get out the word is on social media. Go to Linktr.ee/transyouthmarch and follow us on the platforms of your choice. Share our posts with your friends and contacts,” she urged.
Struggle-La Lucha is proud to share these statements from some of the Oct. 7 organizers.
Samira Burnside, editor of The Queer Notion:
As a transgender youth in Florida, it would be hard not to become an activist, like allowing yourself to be taken by the river instead of swimming against it. When I spoke in Washington, D.C., on Trans Day of Visibility, I felt the power in the air, the will for change, the NEED for change — and I thought: I need to bring this home. Liberal D.C. doesn’t need this, not like Florida does. Florida needed a uniting event, a grand, unignorable display of the unrest that the recent laws had caused. We had heard whispers, but we needed a scream. So, when Melinda approached me, I was ecstatic. I had to carry the momentum of that Trans Day of Visibility forward, I had to make it worth something at home.
This march has done something special – something that I don’t think has been seen since the ‘60s. This march is for the protection of trans youth first and foremost, but it brought together so many people, so many groups, so many disparate ideologies and complex individuals to fly under one flag, to stand in solidarity against one foe.
On Oct. 7, we will march with clasped hands and raised voices next to union workers, we will chant our disagreeable chants beside radicals and moderates, we will share the stage with people of all creeds and colors and ages and denominations, and we will do it because what has happened in Florida has become a threat of such an utterly existential nature that it has become a threat without borders. It has encroached on the civil liberties of everyone, and I am beyond excited to see what we can do when we are united, both on Oct. 7 and beyond.
Tsukuru Fors, Red Berets for Queers:
Being part of this march, to me, is extremely personal. As a non-binary trans person who “came out” and began the process of transition at age 50, I know the pain of being “closeted,” having to live with the sense of guilt, alienation, and shame for so long. I’m not going to let anyone take away our rights to live our lives as dignified, fully self-actualized, and powerful beings. I’m fighting for the young me that couldn’t.
Another thing is that this is not a fight only for trans people. As an Asian/immigrant/trans person who was assigned female at birth, I know that all marginalized folx are currently under attack. The march is to demonstrate to those who want to oppress and subjugate us that “united, we will win.”
We will not remain silent as our siblings are being murdered. We are fighting back. Let this march be a catalyst for a revolution.
Yuki, trans college student:
Every day, I read more and more headlines about a law being passed against us or a judge abusing their power to oppress us, and I’m more than happy to have the opportunity to do something about it. That’s what really motivated me to get involved. I need to do something for my community while I still can.
Seeing queer people be themselves and be happy is something sacred. I’ve seen so many people smile because, for the first time, they can be themselves and be celebrated, cared for, and safe. I’ve been one of those people before, and knowing that fascists are trying to make sure I’m one of the last fills me with rage and a need to act.
I don’t know what will fix all this, but I know a National March to protect trans youth is something I need to be at.
Christynne Lili Wrene Wood, 2023 San Diego Champion of Pride winner:
Love from the West End of the rainbow! I’m a 67-year-old transgender woman from Lakeside, California. I’m a mother and grandmother, as well as an eight-year Navy veteran who’s experienced every bit of the civil rights struggle from the 1960s through right now!
January 2023 began with my being targeted by an organized campaign of hatred and lies challenging my legal rights to use the women’s locker room at the Cameron YMCA in Santee, California.
Because of the love and support of my Aqua Sisters (from my water aerobics classes), I was empowered with the strength to stand in a very public, televised forum and call out the lies of the racist, transphobic bigots and religious zealots that sought to vilify me.
And I’m bring tha love, confidence, and support to all of you, my beloved rainbow family in Florida. Stay strong! Your valkyries are coming!
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