Activists and allies honor Trans Day of Visibility with ceremony at City Hall

By Justin Udo

Trans activists and their supporters gathered at Philadelphia City Hall on Thursday for a Trans Day of Visibility ceremony that became a rallying call.

“I’m a trans activist. I believe in fighting for what’s right, and basic human rights,” said Valentina Rosario with the QTBIPOC organization Galaei. She is one of the dozens of people who came to City Hall for the Trans Day of Visibility flag raising.

The organization PFLAG, which describes itself as the first organization for LGBTQ+ people, their parents, and families, says the event was created in 2009 as the first yearly recognition of the contributions of trans people

She said the day is more than a ceremony. It’s a regrouping for their ongoing fight.

“Trans folks are under attack right now,” said Rosario. “All of these legislations that are being proposed that are anti-trans.”

In recent months, many political leaders across the country have pursued anti-trans legislation.

A Pennsylvania House Education Committee advanced a bill this week requiring public school student-athletes to play according to their “biological sex.” Governors in Arizona, Iowa, Oklahoma, and South Dakota have enacted similar anti-trans sports legislation.

Legislatures across the country have recently passed or are considering other anti-trans bills in areas including education, health care, and birth certificate designations. PFLAG cited more than 300 anti-LGBTQ pieces of legislation being introduced.

Rosario said she has seen trans rights take great strides over the years, but at the same time take some hits.

“In Philly, there’s a lot of community [that says] trans folks matter,” she said. “In that same token, I don’t want to highlight all of that because trans women are still being murdered.”

She said as a trans woman, she’s also using the day to call on trans supporters to do more.

“It warms my heart to know that I have allies. Now the bigger question is, are they willing to be accomplices?” Rosario asked.

“Allies are no longer enough. We need accomplices who are going to stand with us, and march, and yell and scream, and shake things up so that we can continue to be protected.”