Several hundred transgender people and supporters marched downtown on Sunday, calling for more access to healthcare and social services.
Activists said that while the trans community has made strides in recent years, many are still lacking rights accorded to others.
The marchers went from Peace Park through downtown. Some said people don’t understand or accept them and trans people still feel threatened because they don’t conform to a mainstream standard definition of gender.
Many said they had been verbally harassed at school or their place of work.
“Even though some institutions and big corporations support us when we take a job, many people don’t respect our rights,” said marcher Bruna Hill. “We should have access to more information, more support from the government, from the police and also from society. Trans rights are human rights and if all lives matter, our lives also matter.”
One demand was to change the basic way Trans people start their gender transition. Currently transitioning starts with visits to a psychiatrist or psychologist to determine if the person really wants what they’re asking for.
Activists said that’s not necessary and is a conversation they can have with their doctor.
“We’re asking for, first and foremost, a system of informed consent because we just have to jump through all kinds of weird hoops, just in order to get access to hormones, to get access to surgeries,” said Enphorie Dans Le Genre Collective spokesperson Harley vescio. “I think we know what we are, we know what we need and with just a regular healthcare professional who knows what they’re doing.”
Marchers also called for more coverage of surgeries related to transitioning, such as facial feminization surgery, which is not currently covered.