BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Nearly a thousand people marched from Nubian Square to Franklin Park in Boston on Saturday for the "Trans Resistance March and Vigil for Black Trans Lives."
A coalition of local activist groups put on the second annual event, as demonstrators could be heard chanting "no justice, no peace" and holding signs in support of the LGBTQ+ community.
Athena Vaughn of Trans Resistance represents one of the groups calling for serious change within the Boston Pride organization as a whole.
"Pride was created by trans women of color," Vaughn said. "When you look at Boston's Pride -- there is no representation of that."
The President of Boston Pride is resigning -- but Vaughn said that is not good enough.
"They wanted whole board to resign," she said. "We'll do for our community what it is that you claim to want to do -- or say you're doing for years -- and we'll do it ourselves."
Demonstrator Karleigh Webb said she attended the march to protest against anti-trans legislation being proposed across the United States.
"I am unapologetically black, unapologetically queer, unapologetically trans," Webb said. "Thirty-three states [are behind] over 120 pieces of legislation -- and the word has to to come out that we as transgender Americans shall not have our rights abridged in any way shape or form."
Webb highlighted the Equality Act that will be debated in Congress in the coming months -- that would extend the Civil Rights Act to include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
"That's not just good for trans Americans, that's good for LGBTQ+ Americans, that's good for every American," Webb said.
Jamie McDonald, a transgender woman, said she aims to use her privilege as a white person to help empower Black transgender people.
"They are definitely treated much worse than their white counterparts," McDonald said. "We've got to bring all of us up to the same level of equal treatment."
Boston Pride responded to the rally with a letter on Saturday, saying "We know that there are battles to be fought in support of the marginalized groups in our community who continue to be affected by blatant discrimination and violence. This is why we are also fighting to transform Boston Pride to be an organization that fully represents all members of our LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities."
You can read the full letter on the organization's website.
WBZ NewsRadio's Suzanne Sausville (@wbzSausville) reports.