In a short-notice call to action this weekend, Trans Leadership Alaska held a rally in support of trans rights, bringing awareness to the upcoming election and to problems with our current administration. Although the rally was intentionally nonpartisan, the organization called to attention the recently leaked Trump Administration memo that revealed the Department of Health and Human Service’s plans to attack the transgender and gender nonconforming community. The memo states that under their proposal, gender may be defined in binary male-female terms and based solely on one’s genitalia at birth. This plan definitively erases transgender and gender nonconforming people under the law.
There was noticeable tension in the air when addressing the systematic attacks on the TGNC community, however as multiple members from TLA addressed, simply being visible and showing support for the community moves us closer to a safer more inclusive world. Trans education pamphlets and statewide equality petitions were brought in tow to promote and expand the work that TLA is hoping to continue over the coming years.
In addition to the 70+ people that attended the rally, governor candidate Mark Begich made a surprise appearance coming off the busy campaign trail just days before the election. Begich has a history of standing with the LGBTQ+ community as an elected Alaskan official, whereas Begich’s competition Mike Dunleavy is outspokenly anti-LGBTQ+. Looking forward, the governors race will influence much of TLA’s work in the future. We hope that you all vote this upcoming Tuesday!