Transgender Pride March
A Police free March of the Trans & GNC community of STL.
"STL Trans & GNC Pride March 2019
History takes another step forward. On June 28, 2019, the Trans community in St. Louis, MO, and allies came together for their own march free of police and corporate sponsors. In this 50th year anniversary since the Stonewall riots, cities all across America, Canada, and other countries have asked the police to sit this one out.
Pride St. Louis and the city of St. Louis, Missouri came to an agreement this year to not have the police departments march in the parade in uniform and with their weapons. We were happy to have them march with us but without uniforms, badges and weapons. The Metro Trans Umbrella Group, MTUG, even offered to supply their contingent with polo shirts printed with their logo to identify them.
The Metro Trans Umbrella Group, MTUG, was named Grand Marshall's of the parade. The first time a group was named instead of a single individual. Everyone on the board of Pride St. Louis approved of the No uniformed Police decision and naming MTUG as Grand Marshall's.
Then at the 11th hour that decision was reversed. The reason given was a petition that was circulated on social media that accrued just under 14,000 signatures. Signatures of people of our city and region. There is a portion of police who are members of the LGBTQIA+ community. We assume it was they and their families, friends and supporters who signed this petition. We also assume they are 95% Cis white Gays and lesbians. Again, my opinion, but they are people who do not and cannot, ever have any understanding of the pain and struggles of the Trans and gender non-conforming community. Especially trans and queer people of color. The shakedown and subjugation of this embattled segment of the population is what led to the Riots of June 1969 in and around the Stonewall Inn in New York City.
So The Metro Trans Umbrella Group started the Pride weekend with the first "STL Trans & GNC Pride March". Other cities have also broken off from the corporate influence with their own version of a simpler, friendlier march of their own. New York City is one of them.
The struggle for equal rights continues. During this current administration under President Trump, many of the progressive advances of the Obama era have been reversed. Marriage equality is currently under fire in many of the so-called red states. Transgender rights are being fought and reversed.
Although there are some areas of age old conservative contention that are not being pushed back against. Marijuana. Even Wall Street is looking forward to the day that the federal government makes at least medical marijuana use legal and would even like to see recreational use legitimized nation-wide. Why, $$$. Yes, money. What else could possibly change the mind of the conservative establishment. You'll see ads for "The Motley Fool" on every social media platform urging you to subscribe to their investing newsletter so 'You Too can cash in on the coming Pot Boom."
So if the people in power cannot see a way to profit, they don't want to give "it", whatever "it" is, any attention. Then if "It" makes any noise or waves, squash it. Being transgender wasn't an issue during the Obama administration. Now that the ultra-right conservatives are in power transgender people are vilified. "No more transgender people in the military" (President Trump) Why, because the money grubbers can't profit from them.
Here's the difference, when intelligent folks are in power they see value in the productivity of the people. There is a potential in all people to be good productive citizens regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, etc. They just want the freedom to "BE".
Fascists can only retain power as long as they keep a group of the population aside as a target of hate. Rally their base against the hated group and keep control. Immigrants, people of color, LGBTQ, even women in general. "Grab 'em by the pussy" (quote from President Trump)(and yes, I see the current president as a fascist)
So now I will come full circle and wrap up where I started. Transgender and gender non-conforming people exist in numbers too large to ignore. We are vocal and will not be pushed around any longer. We only want the freedom to be ourselves. One of the current front runners in the democratic primaries, Pete Buttigieg, is gay. So what? It's not even an issue. We are your neighbors and co-workers and nothing special. We pay taxes and send our children to the same schools as every one else.
My name is Jane Wilson and I am Transgender. I have been a multi-media journalist for 27 years and reported for NBC, CNN, and USA Today.