Hundreds of transgender Atlantans and their supporters rallied and marched on Saturday, armed with flags, signs and t-shirts to celebrate Atlanta Pride.
The annual Trans March opened with a video tribute to Cheryl Courtney-Evans, a longtime trans activist who died earlier this month. In June, Atlanta Pride named Courtney-Evans as one of its 12 grand marshals for the Pride parade, which was held Sunday.
Trans issues have gained increased attention in recent months from anti-LGBT activists. Since May, potty wars have erupted over trans access to bathrooms. The state school superintendent promised a brawl, the state sued and lawmakers threatened a legislative response. The Atlanta schools chief welcomed the new guidelines and locally-based Fortune 500 companies have taken the lead on creating trans-friendly rest room policies.
But not so much in Fannin County, where parents freaked and compared trans students to “pedophiles” and “perverts.” Leaders in Gwinnett schools, the largest district in Georgia, slammed the new policies but did offer to provide gender-neutral bathrooms for transgender students. Hall County school officials also refused to follow the guidelines.
The Trans March opened with remarks at the main Atlanta Pride stage in Piedmont Park before participants marched on a route along 10th Street, Peachtree and back to the park along 14th Street.
Georgia has the fourth-highest percentage of trans residents in the U.S., according to recent study from the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law.