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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 20 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 25
Trans* Pride celebrates and organizes for gender justice with renowned Trans* activist CeCe McDonald
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Trans* Pride celebrates and organizes for gender justice with renowned Trans* activist CeCe McDonald

On Friday, June 27, Trans* Pride Seattle 2014 marches through the streets of Capitol Hill, ending at Cal Anderson Park, for a community festival and resource fair. Trans* Pride Seattle 2014 builds on the momentum of Trans* Pride 2013, the second largest Trans* Pride in the country with 2,200+ Trans* and allied participants. Seattle held the first-ever Transgender pride in the nation in 1997.

In 2012, Vice President Joe Biden proclaimed that Transgender discrimination is 'the civil rights issue of our time' and it elevated the narrative of Trans* justice. However, there is much work to be done in breaking down barriers and isolation. In hopes to leverage the conversation of gender justice and Trans* justice, Gender Justice League and its event, Trans* Pride Seattle, seek to draw attention to the work that still needs to be done for Transgender and gender non-conforming folks across Washington state and across the country.

The march begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 27 with an award presentation for two well-known allies, Heklina Heklina and Mama Tits. Marchers will assemble on Broadway in front of Seattle Central Community College, march south to E. Pike St., then east to 11th Ave. E. and continue toward and enter Cal Anderson Park for an inclusive, no smoking celebration, with ASL interpreters, wheelchair and chemical sensitivity, community resource fair, and local food trucks.

Gender Justice League enthusiastically welcomes nationally renowned Trans* speakers, Queer musical guests, and SPECIAL Trans* Pride parties and celebrations. Trans* Pride Seattle 2014 welcomes CeCe McDonald, frequent speaker alongside Laverne Cox of 'Orange is the New Black,' and author Janet Mock. She is an outspoken activist around the experiences of Trans women and incarceration - especially Trans women of color. CeCe was arrested for the death of her Transphobic attacker and sentenced to 41 months in prison. Currently, she is free and works to expand the narrative around Trans* women beyond outdated stereotypes and narratives.

'Trans* women are women. Trans* men are men. There's no distinguishing between a 'real' woman and a trans* woman. The problem,' explains McDonald, is that 'Trans people are seen as objects or props, and people don't attach the humanity to us and the things we go through.'

Trans* Pride Seattle 2014 and Gender Justice League hope to break isolation, attach humanity to the Trans* community, and allow the whole community to see each other authentically. In addition, Trans* Pride Seattle 2014 welcomes Kai M. Green, writer, poet, and filmmaker of It Gets Messy in Here. His work centers on Trans* men and masculine identified women of color.

Kai says, 'I had this whole idea that I couldn't be black and I couldn't be Gay at the same time. I had to choose, and at the end of the day if I had to choose, I was going to choose black.' He states, 'I basically decided that I just had to be myself and that came with, one, embracing the fact that I was black, and Gay, and I didn't want to let either of those go. That is a coming out moment, but it was over a span of years, where it was really coming out to myself and realizing how to manage my own identities, which for me were in conflict.' Finally, Kai shares 'Now, my consciousness has changed, where I feel like they're not in conflict. It's a beautiful thing to have all of those identities in one body.' Kai speaks truth to a similar feeling Trans* people confront in their deeper understanding and acceptance of self.

Finally, Trans* Pride Seattle 2014 welcomes Elena Rose (Rose) a mixed-race, mixed-class, mestiza writer, religious scholar, and artist currently attending seminary in Northern California, whose forthcoming book, Mountain of Myrrh, is set to be released by Dinah Press.

Additionally, Trans* Pride Seattle 2014 features The Nasty Habits, a punk-glam group playing music from the '80s and '90s with an edge and energy as well as music by DJ Trinitron.

Trans* Pride Seattle 2014 and Gender Justice League are proud to have the support of community groups and friends. Parties and celebrations that have named them as beneficiaries of their parties: Nark Magazine's Gender Blender at Neighbours Nightclub on June 26, featuring Le1f, Ben DeLaCreme, Joslyn Fox, Mama Tits, and more! LICK! hosts the official Trans* Pride Seattle 2014 After Party at Chop Suey on June 27, featuring DJ Dewey Decimal, Res, and Troubled Youth. Finally, T-Shack Seattle Pride Edition, on June 27th at Unicorn will donate all cover proceeds to Gender Justice League. T-Shack is hosted by Mama Tits and Heklina Heklina, 2014 Gender Justice League Trailblazer Awardees.

Trans* Pride Seattle 2014 (www.transprideseattle.org), a Pride event organized by Gender Justice League, energizes the Trans* movement for more gender justice and connects racial justice, disability justice, economic justice, immigration justice, and more because Trans* people are not of a single identity or movement. The collaboration between community groups and sponsors indicates a commitment to building community across movements. Most importantly, Trans* Pride Seattle seeks to break the isolation so the whole community can see each other more fully and authentically. Building empathy and connecting neighbors, allies, and Trans* folks is imperative to dismantling barriers to access, health, and a happy life.

The primary sponsor and organizer of Trans* Pride Seattle 2014 is Gender Justice League (www.genderjusticeleague.org), a nonprofit formed by a group of local Transgender activists and their allies. Their mission is to advocate for Seattle's growing Transgender and gender-nonconforming community. Trans* Pride Seattle 2014 is an important way for Gender Justice League and the Trans* community to elevate issues Trans* people face (such as social isolation and discrimination in employment, housing, healthcare and public accommodations) while celebrating our beautiful Trans* communities, and to motivate and excite people about changing the climate for Trans* people in Washington state.

Additional sponsors include: Gay City Health Project and myhivmoment, League at AT&T, Greater Seattle Business Association, Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce, Pride Foundation, Social Justice Fund NW, Capitol Hill Community Council, Caffe Vita, and Seattle Gay News.

About Gender Justice League
Gender Justice League is a Washington state Trans*and allied activist collective headquartered in Seattle. We are a fiscally sponsored project of Gay City Health Project. GJL was started by a group of long time Trans*, Queer, and allied activists who were looking to increase the community's capacity to address cissexism, Transphobia, Transmisogyny and Homo, Bi, and Queer phobias that Trans*, genderqueer, and gender-nonconforming people face.

Courtesy of Gender Justice League - www.genderjusticeleague.org

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