Violence against trans women of color as well as financial and housing insecurity are just a few of the issues organizers hoped to highlight during this year’s march.

Golphin believes that gathering on a Saturday in a public space is a vital action to take because it highlights who is there – but more importantly, who is not.

“There are a lot of people who claim to be allies of the community or organizations, especially nonprofits, or even companies like the same people who supported the now disbanded Philly Pride Presents or any other company. Pride. They say they support the trans community. They say they are in solidarity with us. Well if they are really into it then they have to show up, ”Golphin said.

Before and during the march, a number of trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming speakers took the microphone to share their lived experiences and demand changes from the community and elected officials who they said did not. have not shown much concern.

Tazmere Stephens climbed into the back of a van with the speakers on to tell the crowd the story of his life and how he “ran away” as a child. Growing up, family members didn’t like that he was trans, he said.

Tazmere Stephens told the crowd that if people just treated others with respect, there would be no isms or phobias. (Kenny Cooper / WHYY)

Eventually, Stephens became a father, but he again faced discrimination, while struggling with drug addiction.

“The scariest part was I didn’t know where to go for help. Because where was I supposed to go? A mom and me program – where I’m scared like all straight moms because I’m on hormone therapy? Said Stephens.

Paternity programs have brought a high level of danger. Stephens has finally found his way.

“Most trans brothers don’t speak out. We suffer in silence, because we want to be the big kids in the neighborhood. We’re not supposed to cry, ”Stephens said, urging people to start treating others with respect.

On site on Saturday were staff members of Morris Home, considered the only residential drug and alcohol treatment program in the country specifically designed for trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming people.

As staff members distributed Narcan and other harm reduction resources, some of Morris Home’s customers carried signs to the front of the march to show their support.

Brianna Williams had a simple message: “We need more peace.

Kidir Rivers (L) and Briana Williams (R) want more peace
Kidir Rivers (L) and Briana Williams (R) want more peace. (Kenny Cooper / WHYY)

March organizers read aloud a list of demands during a stop on South Street. These include medical resources, more medical research on aging with HIV, police funding, economic justice, safe workplaces, assertiveness for trans youth, and an end to harassment and assault.

“We envision a world where we can break free from the fear of transphobic and anti-black violence that has claimed the lives of too many of our black trans sisters and other trans siblings. Protect and stand up for black trans women and all trans people at all costs, ”Golphin said.

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Al Worden

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