COLORADO SPRINGS — More than a hundred members of the transgender and gender non-conforming community gathered Saturday at Acacia Park to promote inclusion and take a stand against hate and discrimination in Colorado Springs.
The second annual "Trans Visibility March" drew advocates and supporters from all across southern Colorado to raise awareness of transgender issues and bring attention to the inequalities the community faces.
"These events are very important to our community. We are a community that faces a lot of discrimination, we come from a lot of different intersections from life whether it's race, gender, or sex. Representation is very important to the transgender community," said Oberyn Wolfe, attended the event. "We are here, we are your friends, we are your families, we are coworkers and we are going to be here for a long time."
Organizers say events like these start conversations that typically aren't discussed in Colorado Springs.
"Just for us to be in a public space and be like hey these are the things that we are going through, yes you have a trans and non-binary community here," said Ash Stephens, Organizer of the Trans Visibility March.
There were speakers, poets, musicians, and vendors. Masks were required and social distancing was enforced. With the uptick in COVID-19 cases and the recent limit on gatherings, organizers said they had to pivot and make the march a rally.
"People of color have been disproportionately affected by COVID, especially trans people of color and the LGBTQ+ communities. I didn't want to try and advocate for my community and then bring them to an event where they would leave and might get COVID. We couldn't figure out a way to march safely six feet in distance so we decided to just do a rally," said Stephens.
The Colorado Springs Indigenous Community attended the event in a show of solidarity. The group said it was important to be there and show their support, especially with everything going on in the world right now.
"We need to be allies, we need to be supportive of that, and in the indigenous community we don't use pronouns so everything is non-gender," said Monycka Snowbird.
Organizers say the event was twice the size of last year. Anyone interested in getting involved with the community can reach out to the Empowerment Solidarity Network, Transparenting, and Inside/Out Youth Center.