TransAction Florida brings attention to the ‘T’ with a successful white party

By : Aaron Alper
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TransAction Florida brought their A-game for this year’s White Party at Georgie’s Alibi. Hosted by Kori Stevens, the event brought both awareness and much needed funds in support for the trans community who, as we know, are fighting as hard as they can for the basic civil rights afforded to other citizens.

“TransAction would like to thank Georgie’s Alibi management, staff and performers for choosing TransAction for this year’s recipient of donations,” says Gina Leigh Duncan, the trans inclusion director for Equality Florida. “Funds raised will go to fund TransAction’s efforts in working for safe schools, conducting media and law enforcement training, pushing for fully inclusive Human Rights Ordinances and transgender health and wellness issues. These initiatives will support LGBT Floridians across the state.”

Nathan Bruemmer, who is currently studying his Juris Doctor at Stetson University, says the event was hands-down a success.

“We raised over $1,200 for transgender initiatives in Florida by raffling off about 40 donated items from local businesses,” he says.“We could not have made the event a success without the support of Georgie’s, Project No Labels, the local business community and everyone who showed their support at the party decked out in their best white outfits.

“This year has been one of increased visibility in the media and increased violence for the transgender community,” Bruemmer continues. “With over 20 reported murders of transwomen of color so far, this year has been the most violent in recent years. The increased media coverage sheds light on not only the safety concerns of the transcommunity, but also the discrimination faced and the need to educate and advocate for our trans brothers and sisters.

“Transgender men and women face discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations.  TransAction Florida, the statewide transgender initiative of Equality Florida, is taking the lead to end this discrimination through advocacy and education across the state.  Last year, TransAction was pivotal in the call to action to defeat House Bill 583, Rep. Frank Artiles’, R-Miami, discriminatory ‘bathroom bill.’” Gina Duncan, chair of the TransAction board, and a national corporate trainer, who conducts trainings for employers on effective transgender policies and practices, says.

Although most attendees wore white, there were a few exceptions, according to Bruemmer.

“During the event, T-shirts with the well-known hashtag,‘#TransLivesMatters,’ and a list of the twenty transwomen of color who have been victims of murder this year were printed ‘live’ by 808 Shirts.  India Clarke, a woman murdered in Tampa on July 21, is listed on the memorial T-shirt.  India’s case was an example of the education needed about the trans community, as she was originally misgendered by local police and media.  T-shirts will be available online if you missed your chance with a portion of the proceeds benefiting TransAction Florida.”

So despite a rainy night and a lure of other pre-Labor Day parties to attend, The White Party was an unmitigated success. Raffle tickets included a variety of prizes, including local artwork, gift cards for local retail and massage packages. It was an ebullient evening in the face of adversity, and the energy was clear from both the crowd and the organizers alike.

“With more events like this, education and awareness can be made within the communities to then filter into mainstream society,” activist and event assistant Aramis Baynar says. “Once we (LGBTQ+) are educated and aware, the rest of society may follow suit.”

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