A crowd of 100 or so gathered at the Ynot Lot at North Avenue and North Charles for the Baltimore Trangender Alliance's Trans March Of Resilience. Right before the march began, Monica Yorkman told the group "love conquers all"—one of the many ways it was made clear that the march would not just about the lives lost (26 reported deaths of trans people this year, the most since these deaths have been recorded) but also about the multitudes contained in the community as well. Shouting out "our voice is power, silence is death" and "the gender system must be broken," and the Assatta Shakur Freedom Chant, the group marched to the 2640 Space at St. Paul and 26th Street.
Outside 2640, Ava Pipitone of Baltimore Transgender Alliance invited people inside, gripping a Trans flag waving in the bitter wind. As many moved inside, outside 2640 Space, a participant who had just moved back to Baltimore after some time in a nearby city seemed overwhelmed by the march's spirit. They had suffered a rather severe attack for being trans on Memorial Day they said—it seemed like the right time to come return to Baltimore.
Inside, Pipitone addressed the crowd, who gathered for an evening of food, conversation, and performances.
"In Baltimore city, there are many transgender communities and it's only in the past few years have we started coming together. And only through coming together can we heal collectively and act collectively like we did today," Pipitone said. "The most important part of today is to reclaim. We are reclaiming our narrative from the morbid news headlines that are far too often too visible stories of our murders, executions, and suicides. We're reclaiming those stories and lifting up and centering the voices of transgender mothers, fathers, parents, artists, teachers, business owners. Those stories. When you think transgender, you should think trans is beautiful."
Pipitone then read the names of trans victims of murder and stressed, "three simple words": "Unify, reclaim, and empower." (Brandon Soderberg)