Hundreds marched down King Street in Newtown today for International Transgender Day of Visibility in a rally organised by Trans Action Warrang.
International Transgender Day of Visibility is honoured on March 31 around the globe to support and celebrate transgender people; to recognise the courage it takes to live openly in the face of disproportionately higher rates of discrimination.
Speeches commenced at 1 pm at The Hub in Newtown, and concerned the ongoing discrimination faced by the transgender community as a whole, especially First Nations people and sex workers.
The communitys’ disproportionate vulnerability to homelessness was highlighted by several of the rally’s organisers, including transgender activist Hayden Moon.
“I have been homeless multiple times. The homelessness rate for trans people is 71% in Australia. Four years ago, I left an unaccepting home. I can never go back,” Moon said.
Event speaker Lismore’s Lilly described her experience of homelessness as a child due to an unaccepting domestic situation.
“I left home at 12 years of age… my parents could not understand who I was, but I could not understand what they were, so I was sent to Sydney. I had no money in my pocket, I had nowhere to go, I got a drug habit, so I was forced onto William Street.”
Speeches also called attention to high rates of suicide within the transgender community, and recognised the positive impact that the decriminalisation of sex work in NSW has had on the safety of transgender sex workers.
A minute of silence was called by Lismore’s Lilly to honour transgender people murdered by the police in NSW.
Moon was also pleasantly surprised by the turnout to the rally.
“It’s amazing to know we have this much support, especially when a lot of us have been through family rejection, peer rejection — we’ve lost a lot of people. To have this many people come out and supporting us is really incredible.”