Many people on this hot sunny day gathered around a local park in Hyattsville, Maryland to protest anti-trans bills. People wanted to let the world know that trans people should be allowed to play in sports.
Bills like H.R.734 would prohibit school programs from allowing anyone assigned male at birth (AMAB) to participate in sports programs for girls and women. If passed, that bill would be harmful. That is one reason why protests like Let Trans Athletes Play (LTAP) exist.
“We aren’t trying to win. we are trying to live. We are trying to play. The fact that people tell us that we’re ‘cheating’ because we’re trans is completely insane,” said Xander (he/him), Queer Youth Assemble’s Head Of Programs.
“People are people, and no one should be judging them, period, and there shouldn’t be more obstacles for youth,” said Katie.
After people started arriving, non-athletic activities started where attendees were able to make protest posters as well as cards for Point Of Pride. Some of the poster messages included “trans is not a choice, but transphobia is!” and “respect our existence or expect our resistance.” For those who wanted to make a poster but were stuck, we had a sheet with suggestions of phrases to write. People had the choice of hanging it up or keeping it.
For the card-making activity, people came together to write supportive messages in cards to trans folks who may be struggling or having a hard time, and it was amazing to see the community using their art to uplift and support others. Some of the messages included “I’m so proud of you for being yourself! I believe in you,” and another message said, “You deserve to be loved, you deserve to be seen, and you deserve joy.” Regardless of how long the message was, the card will still bring joy to a trans person. If you want to get involved with this project, you can click here.
Another part of the event that was enjoyed and brought people together was kickball and water balloons. We played many kickball games, and the water balloons were thrown many times. It was great to see inclusive sports and everyone having a great time being competitive.
Overall, the event was definitely needed, and we were able to get our message across because we had tons of posters, support, and sports. “I enjoyed the people who came out to support us,” said Xander. Katie said “I loved playing with the water balloons and it was fun to watch people throw them at each other and I appreciated the relaxing atmosphere.”