For many baseball fans, Sunday will be remembered as a Red Sox victory against the Dodgers. However, the final World Series was also a win for the trans community after activists unfurled a banner reading “Trans People Deserve To Live” from a left field balcony.
The banner was brought by members of the [email protected] Coalition, a nationwide organization that fights for the rights of transgender Latinx people and is based in Los Angeles. While it was only displayed for a short time and didn’t make it on the Fox broadcast, its presence is already spreading quickly across social media as the LGBTQ community continues to reel from recent anti-trans attacks by the Trump administration.
“I felt my heart was dropping along with it,” said Bamby Salcedo, the president of the advocacy organization who led the action in an interview with INTO. “I was kind of exploding because of the adrenaline. You don’t know what’s going to happen with the police and security and all of that.”
The group’s action comes a week after a memo was reported by the New York Times that outlined how the Trump administration is hoping to make gender and sex binary within the eyes of US policy, which in turn could potentially “erase” transgender and intersex people from government records. The memo even stated that genetic testing could be used to uphold these policy initiatives. INTO spoke with experts who stated that any genetic testing to make sex or gender a binary is “not science.”
Salcedo is now calling on other trans people and their allies to replicate the action and take up space in mainstream spaces as a way to continue resistance.
“I hope that this action will motivate members of the trans community, our allies and our comrades to really activate and to really understand that we have power,” she said. “We can demonstrate our power anywhere and everywhere.”
Salcedo was joined by [email protected] Coalition Board Chair Maria Roman and other activists who snuck the 20 by 15-foot banner prior to the game starting. In a video posted to the organization’s Facebook page, the group is seen affixing the banner to the balcony while others fans stare in confusion. The banner remains for just a few minutes before it is pulled down by security.
The group was escorted out of the park without incident or arrest. Salcedo said they went to the park specifically for the purpose of dropping the banner.
“I don’t even like baseball,” she said. “I think it’s boring.”
Sunday’s game wasn’t the only time a massive transgender pride flag made its way into the nation’s view. On Monday in Washington, DC, the National Center for Trans Equality unfurled a series of 150-foot-long strips of fabric in the colors of the trans flag on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, tweeting, “We #WontBeErased, and we won’t be forgotten, and we won’t be ignored.”
We #WontBeErased, and we won't be forgotten, and we won't be ignored. Today, we worked with local advocates and community members to unfurl a 150-foot trans flag on some of our nation's most visible real estate: the Lincoln Memorial. pic.twitter.com/fkPlQ2m6sm
— National Center for Transgender Equality (@TransEquality) October 29, 2018
Rallies and protests in support of trans rights took place across the United States on Sunday, with around 100 people gathering in Chico, California; around 50 people in Decatur, Illinois; an estimated 500 people in San Diego, California; a rally led by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh in Massachusetts; and a 40-block-long protest in Minneapolis, Minnesota all making headlines.
The protests don’t appear to be slowing down. On Monday, students at the University of Vermont in Burlington planned to walk out of class in protest of the leaked HHS memo.
In Los Angeles, activists dropped flags outside of Dodgers Stadium as well. Salcedo posted several photos on Facebook of banner drops on multiple highway overpass bridges; the banners read “We Will Not Be Erased.”