Nearly 200 people marched through Midtown on Sunday, celebrating Pride and the 51st anniversary of the Stonewall Riots while calling for justice and equality for black transgender people, reports Matt Hennie of Project Q Atlanta.
The Beauty in Colors Rally – organized by the People’s Uprising and Atlanta City Council member Antonio Brown – started at the 17th Street bridge over the Downtown Connector about 4 p.m. The marchers made their way through Midtown until they blocked the intersection of 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue – LGBTQ Atlanta’s most prominent spot, adorned with rainbow crosswalks.
The march included “no justice, no peace” and other chants now familiar from ongoing Atlanta protests for racial justice. On their path to the Midtown intersection, demonstrators paused for 51 seconds to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in 1969.
“We’re not just marching because this is a trend or fad,” Brown said. “We are doing this because we truly understand and we’re standing in solidarity with our black trans community, our white trans community – all black trans lives. Everyone.”
At the rainbow crosswalks, the march and rally turned into a block party with a DJ. Dancing in the streets lasted for a few hours, but the social justice message was always present.
“I heard us screaming ‘no justice, no peace,’ but I want that to be inclusive because when a trans person is murdered, a lot of the first questions are, 'What is she doing? Did she trick somebody? No, she didn’t. We are desired just like anybody else. Our lives matter. Black trans lives matter,” said trans activist Toni Bryce.
Burnside said the event also sent a message to the larger Black Lives Matter movement that has been the catalyst for weeks of racial justice and equality protests in Atlanta.
“For those who say your personal lives don’t belong in these spaces, I say the personal is political and we can not win this political struggle without your personal commitment to reclaiming the pride of this nation – which is an endeavor for life, liberty and justice for all people,” he said.
On June 7, a crowd of hundreds took part in anotherrally and march through Midtownto support black transgender people. That event specifically called attention to the killing of Tony McDade, a black trans man, by police in Tallahassee, Fla.