Chico community protest for transgender rights


Sonia Aery speaks about the role of allies in transgender movement. Photo credit: Justin Jackson

Supporters of the transgender community gathered Sunday and rallied in the Downtown Plaza to protest potential policies against the trans community.

The Trans Empowerment Project of Northern California, along with the Indigenous Support Collaborative and the Chico Women’s March, hosted Won’t Be Erased.

This protest was in response to the recent New York Times article reporting a memo from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). According to the Times, the HHS is pushing an effort to define a legal definition of sex under Title IX.

There were many speakers including Sonia Aery, a candidate for California District 3 Assembly, and Lindsay Briggs, a professor at Chico State. They, and other speakers, talked in their speeches on the importance of individuals and allies coming together for the transgender community and causes.

Lindsay Brigg, a professor at Chico State, speaks about allies and how important they are in the transgender movement Photo credit: Justin Jackson

“Each of us is just one person,” Briggs said.

“But when we stand up with our black brothers and sisters, our Latinx brothers and sisters, our trans populations, our LGBTQ population, our native population, we are a bigger, mightier sort of thing,” she said.

Sonia Aery feels that allies have lacked in areas that she feels they should be rallying behind.

“Allies haven’t really been understanding what the trans community needs or where we need to be advocating,” Aery said.

“Things like making sure Transportation Improvement projects have a clause to hire everybody regardless of gender identity,” she said

Conner Wenzel spoke about the history of trying to “erase” trans people and an effort to “erase” now.

“I want to raise awareness of what the powers that be in Washington are trying to do in erasing the transgender identities,” Wenzel said.

“They’re stating that there are only two genders when there’s obvious evidence to disavow that,” he said

Conner Wenzel speaks about the history of trans people being erased Photo credit: Justin Jackson

The memo the Times reported about hasn’t been released, but #WontBeErased protests are happening all over the country, continuing to rally for trans people’s rights.

Justin Jackson can be reached at [email protected], or on Twitter @JustJack0176