Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Safety is not a special interest.

Participating in my first pride this summer, I found myself eager to attend another parade and festival. I’ve known for a while now that my hometown of Rochester, NY hosts a pride, but had never been interested until Capital Pride 2008 sparked this sudden drive for diverse people and colorful outfits and colorful decorations coming together in an outspoken demand to be seen, heard, and accepted . Much to my dismay, when I looked up this year’s events I found that the festivities would be taking place two weeks prior to my return home on August 2nd.

My life brightened a bit when I caught wind of worthy and noble substitution taking place here in D.C. on July 19th, the same day as the Rochester Pride Parade.

The DC Trans Coalition (DCTC) was hosting a protest against the Department of Corrections for their unfair and unsafe policies regarding incarcerated transgender people and I knew that this was something of which I had to be a part.

By my count there were around 35 people in attendance, raising signs and raising voices against the DOC’s refusal to address all of the DCTC’s demands, including an assurance of access to clothing and cosmetics appropriate to an inmate's gender identity; access to medical treatment, including hormone therapy; inmates being addressed by gender-appropriate pronouns; privacy during strip searches; a record of injuries or assaults against transgender inmates; and ongoing sensitivity training for DOC officers.

To make your voice heard about the unfair treatment of DC transgender inmates and to demand change, click here to sign the DCTC's Petition to Defend Our Rights.

Included below are some of the pictures I was able to take once I stepped out of the marching and chanting line!



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