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New Orleans community organizers prepare rally to defend trans lives

By Dylan Sojic-Borne |
June 14, 2020
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2019 Trans March of Resilience in New Orleans.
2019 Trans March of Resilience in New Orleans. (Photo by Ben Collongues)

New Orleans, LA - Trans organizers in New Orleans are getting ready for a rally to defend trans lives, set for June 17 at 4 p.m. in front of the Civil District Court.

In the middle of the Black Lives Matter uprising, violence against Black trans people has escalated. Tallahassee police murdered Tony McDade on May 27. Within 24 hours, on June 8 and 9, Black trans women Dominique Rem’mie Fells and Riah Milton have also been killed. Police reports misgendered both women. Protesters will gather in their memory, and in outrage at their deaths.

Organizers also condemn the federal government for green-lighting this violence with its transphobic policies. The Trump administration is repealing Sec. 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, opening the door to allowing health providers to discriminate against trans people. Not only does this open the door to discrimination, it sponsors the same transphobia that motivates murders.

The Orleans Parish Civil District Court still charges $505.50 for name changes, one of the highest fees in the country. Without accurate identification, trans people risk getting turned away by employers, health providers, and shelters. While Trump sponsors discrimination, city courts leave trans people open to it. Protesters want the elimination of outrageous barriers to correcting IDs.

Meanwhile, as the COVID-19 crisis rages on, transphobic discrimination has to go.

Organizers encourage protesters to wear masks and practice social distancing. Sponsoring organizations include the Real Name Campaign, the Trans March of Resilience, and Freedom Road Socialist Organization.

Set in the middle of Pride month, the rally remembers who founded Pride: militant trans women of color who rioted at Stonewall Inn. Organizers hope to honor their legacy, and continue the fight to protect trans people.