ST. PETERSBURG | LGBTQ community leaders and advocates gathered Nov. 4 at Williams Park for St. Petersburg’s “We Won’t Be Erased” transgender support rally.
Nathan Bruemmer organized the rally following reports that the Trump administration may attempt to define gender as an immutable condition determined at birth. Partner organizations included Equality Florida, TransAction Florida, Metro Wellness & Community Centers, St. Pete Pride, the Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber of Commerce and Project No Labels. “We rally for our rights, for our future and for our lives,” Bruemmer shared with Watermark ahead of the event. “These rallies are happening all over our country right now. I hope the politicians who need to hear this message do so and act.”
Bruemmer was joined by a wide array of speakers, including city council members Gina Driscoll, Steve Kornell and Darden Rice, Metro Wellness’ Kiala Emmons, entertainer Te Monet, activist Ashley T. Brundage and others. Equality Florida Executive Director Nadine Smith closed out the rally.
“I want to say thank you to the transgender community, to gender nonconforming people, because you have made this world a safer place for me from the day I was born,” Smith said. “You have been at the forefront; you have bore the brunt of the attacks on what we call the LGBTQ community and you have done it even when the rest of that alphabet has not stood with you.
“Right now we’re in this moment and it’s a difficult moment,” she concluded. “It’s a painful moment and people are being hurt and people are being killed. We’ve got to know that on the other side of it is the country that we’ve been working toward; the country where we stand up for each other, where we challenge racism, where we challenge transphobia – where we do not allow it to be normal that black, trans women are murdered day in and day out in our country. That’s the America that’s on the other side of this.”
Watermark was on hand to show our support – check out some of our photos below.
Photos by Ryan Williams-Jent.