Hundreds gather in SLC to rally and march on International Transgender Day of Visibility
SALT LAKE CITY — Several hundred people gathered on Utah’s Capitol Hill Thursday to rally and march while marking International Transgender Day of Visibility.
Project Rainbow and others organized the event which included a march from the Capitol to City Creek Park and included multiple speakers.
“I am so grateful to each and every one of you for being visible every single day of your lives,” Olivia Jaramillo told the crowd.
Jaramillo, the director for public outreach at Equality Utah, is a retired United States Air Force veteran who became one of the first people nationally to legally change her name and gender marker while on active duty.
“No matter where you are, you are doing an amazing thing for the entire transgender community,” Jaramillo said.
Em Jenkins, 18, was crafting signs for the event and said growing up in Utah as a trans kid is far from easy, especially outside of Salt Lake City.
“It’s important that we’re visible because today and historically as trans people and trans kids we haven’t been,” Jenkins said. “I think recently things have been hard with some anti-trans legislation specifically aimed at students and that’s been hard. It definitely sends a message that we’re not welcome in the school setting and other settings.”
Jayce Wright said coming out alone is scary.
“You don’t know what others’ opinions will be about changing your life and such,” said Wright.
Wright’s father, Pat, also acknowledged the challenge.
“It’s a hard thing all around, but you support your kids no matter what,” he said. “You love them and support them.”
Jenkins hoped others simply saw those in the trans community as human beings.
“I’m excited to see some of the work that has started,” Jenkins said. “There’s absolutely a long way to go.”
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