(U.S.) National Trans Visibility March 2019
Local Event Tool Kit
The (U.S.) National Trans Visibility March on Washington is being organized and sponsored by a large number of faith communities, religious organizations, non-profit social justice groups, and for-profit businesses. There is growing excitement and many are expected to attend, from all across the United States.
Metropolitan Community Churches and the Global Justice Institute have ‘teamed up’ as a sponsor and in participating as faith leaders in the March. MCC members are invited and encouraged to participate in some way (please refer to the resource provided “Ways to Participate and Support”).
Host a Local Event
For those of us who cannot attend the March itself and want to show solidarity and support, holding a local event can have a significant impact. The March on Washington DC will happen on Saturday 28 September between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm EDT*, people in western states or for whom that time is not convenient, may want to hold a local event at an alternate time.
Some suggestions for a local event:
- Participate in the National Trans Virtual March – For viewing by a group, set-up a large flat screen TV or digital projector connected to a computer accessing the internet. Go to (insert link for virtual march) to get the feed from Washington. Consider having beverages and snacks, plus make sure there is time for discussion afterward.
- Gather for a trans-related movie with a discussion – Several documentaries and narratives are available for viewing (some of the titles will require a royalty payment). The national website for PFLAG has an extensive list of movies with short descriptions. These can be found at: https://pflag.org/resource/films-gender
- Hold a march/rally – Organize an outdoor gathering at a location that seems appropriate for your locale. Have people talk about the challenges they face as a Trans person and suggested ways to help and support Trans persons as an ally.
- Have a panel discussion about the issues being focused on at the March – Suggested discussion items are listed below along with resources, as available.
- Collaborate with other organizations in your locality – Contract local faith communities, human rights organizations, the Veteran’s Administration (if there is one in your area), LGBTQ groups, GSA’s, and others who might help plan and hold an event. The intent and hope is to make this a community building event from start to finish. Consider gathering after a Sunday worship, hosted by your MCC church.
- Include social action by writing to elected officials – Have postcards or stationery so people in attendance can write to their national representatives and senators expressing support for the Equality Act. Have example text and mailing addresses for those elected officials in the U.S.
Do a combination of events –
Here are some suggested resources for consideration in planning a local event to support the March and to encourage local involvement:
ISSUES FOR DISCUSSIONS
(U.S.) Issues suggested for discussion that coincide with the issues at the forefront of the March:
- The Equality Act:
The Equality Act would provide consistent and explicit non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people across key areas of life, including employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service.
The Equality Act would amend existing civil rights law—including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Housing Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Jury Selection and Services Act, and several laws regarding employment with the federal government—to explicitly include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics. The legislation also amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination in public spaces and services and federally funded programs on the basis of sex.
Additionally, the Equality Act would update the public spaces and services covered in current law to include retail stores, services such as banks and legal services, and transportation services. These important updates would strengthen existing protections for everyone.
- The Trans military ban:
On July 26, 2017, U.S. President Trump posted a series of tweets in the early morning hours announcing that, “The United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.” The tweeted ban was swiftly and widely condemned by more than 56 retired generals and admirals and a large percentage of Republican and Democratic U.S. senators and representatives.
Despite that criticism, the White House proceeded to issue a memorandum directing the military to continue the ban on enlistment by those they learn are transgender, even though our armed forces currently are facing recruitment challenges, including in high demand positions like linguists, health care providers, social workers and aviators. The enlistment ban also bars transgender members of the military currently serving openly. And, though legally challenged, the military ban was subsequently upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States.
- Underemployment/Employment discrimination:
The latest proposal out of the Department of Labor attempts to gut protections for LGBTQ people, women and religious minorities by adding unprecedented religious exemptions to a historic executive order prohibiting discrimination against the employees of federal contractors and subcontractors.
- Housing discrimination:
One of every five transgender people has experienced homelessness. Addressing this crisis requires tireless advocacy to combat the economic injustices faced by our communities. It also requires advocacy to ensure that all people have a right to safe and stable housing, regardless of gender identity or expression.
- Healthcare inequality and mistreatment:
Discrimination has touched the lives of many Transgender people at all points in the healthcare system – from being unable to access insurance coverage, to outright refusals to provide care, to verbal and physical abuse at the hands of medical professionals.
While LGBT people are at increased risk of discrimination in healthcare, a majority of the states (26) do not provide insurance and healthcare non-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Violence in the U.S. and around the world:
At a time when transgender people are finally gaining visibility and activists are forcing our country to confront systemic violence against people of color, transgender women of color are facing an epidemic of violence (escalating to murder) that occurs at the intersections of racism, sexism and transphobia––issues that advocates can no longer afford to address separately.
It is estimated that forty (40%) of transgender people have attempted suicide in their lifetime, a rate nearly 9 times the rate in the U.S. general population (4.6%).
Are there other resources available beyond the U.S.? Issues that are specific to your country or location? Please make this — location and country appropriate!
LET US KNOW WHAT YOU ARE PLANNING
Please let us know how you plan to participate. Your name/church/city/state will be displayed on the MCC website. Also, after your event, send us a photo or two of your event and the people participating. Email the details of your event to Rev. Aaron Miller, who is leading this MCC/GJI response and action at: [email protected] or text (203)209-1504.
Thank you for participating as we MCC/Global Justice Institute join together in faith, love, and justice to change minds, hearts, and culture in every place and country!