Video by Ford Fischer
Photos and Article by Alejandro Alvarez

Against a bone-chilling deep freeze, about 75 people gathered in a circle in Freedom Plaza on Wednesday evening to oppose violence against transgender women.

On the heels of a nationwide spate of violence against the transgender community, particularly women and persons of color, organizers with the Casa Ruby LGBT Community Center, the Marsha P. Johnson Institute, and HIPS presented an opportunity for trans women to speak out about a threat to their wellbeing.

“We don’t identify just as trans, we identify as human beings,” said an organizer, “we’re here to fight back and say, ‘we are human beings – respect us!”

“In order to be relevant, you must honor humanity, and our current administration has shown that they do not,” said Elle Hearns, an activist with pro-LGBT rights group GetEQUAL. “It’s not Donald Trump’s house, this is the house of DC. At the end of the day he can live in that house, but he is still in this city – you know, we’ll never belong to him.”

Holding signs including a few reading “Respect existence or expect resistance,” and “Vive gente trans,” the circle of people, bundled in jackets and distributing hand warmers to fight back the cold, held a moment of silence for transgender victims of violence. They then read their names, each followed by loud calls of: “Say her name!”