The Transgender Day of Visibility rally took place in Charlotte on Thursday, March 31 at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center. It was well attended despite the rain. The event functioned as a protest rally against HB2 and the politicians who passed it.
Below are some videos from the event. Look for more coverage coming soon in our next print issue as well as online.
Alele “AJ” Williams, from the Freedom Center for Social Justice, and Reia Chapman, from SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective speak to the crowd about standing up and being visible, especially after the signing of HB2.
Erica Starling talks about how to fight back and unite going forward, outlining plans for making life better for trans men and women living in Charlotte.
A trans woman shares a story about being dragged from a bathroom in a mall in Virginia for being transgender, as well as a call for more conversations and more activism around trans issues.
Che Busiek tells how his mother accepts him as a transgender man for the first time, and how she told him she is ready to stand up for the LGBT community in North Carolina.
When Gov. Pat McCrory visited this individual’s college after signing HB2, they didn’t feel comfortable enough to go to their own honor’s convocation. Also speaks on how not “passing” or being seen as beautiful enough is a way people are erased or not seen and respected.
Mecklenburg County Commissioner Pat Cotham was on hand, pledging support to the LGBT community. Her daughter, Tricia Cotham, is running congress and has spoken out against HB2.
Charlotte City Council member John Autry was also on hand, speaking to the crowd against HB2. Autry voted to expand the Charlotte non-discrimination ordinance to include LGBT protections. He also did so in 2015, when it was defeated. When it failed to pass, he, along with LaWana Mayfield, voted against an amended version that year which would have stripped transgender protections from the ordinance.
Autry was recently elected NC House District 100 Representative.
Organizer Lara Americo talks about how she feels uplifted during this time after HB2 has become law by the outpouring of support and camaraderie that has come in the aftermath, as well as the activism it has inspired.