On Saturday, June 13, Boston will take to the streets to honor and fight for the Black and Brown trans community. The Trans Resistance Vigil and March will take place at 3 PM at the Franklin Park Bandstand. The vigil will include speeches, music, and art from leaders of the Boston QTPOC community such as Teesha Boo, Black Bear Extraordinaire, Athena Vaughn, Chastity Bowick, Tre’Andre Valentine and Monica Cannon Grant. The day will culminate with a march to Nubian Square.
It is fitting that this important event is happening this Saturday, on what was the original date of the 2020 Boston Pride Parade before it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Stonewall Uprising of June 1969 – the founding event of the modern LGBTQIA+ rights movement and the birth of Pride – was led by trans women of color. Leaders like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera have only in recent years been given the credit their deserve for helping to launch LGBTQIA+ civil rights into the national conversation, and there were many, many other QTPOC who rose up against police brutality that night and demanded the respect they deserved as human beings. The echoes of Stonewall are felt strongly today as across the country, activists once again take to the streets to demand an end to the systemic racism that has led to the murders of so many Black and Brown people at the hands of law enforcement.
Fenway Health wholly supports this weekend’s Trans Resistance Vigil and March and the protests that are occurring in all 50 states in the wake of the horrific murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. As a health center, we are also committed to helping our community members stay safe as they exercise their constitutional rights. As we are still in the midst of a global pandemic, with COVID-19 disproportionately harming people of color, Fenway Health encourages our community to adhere as best as possible to public health recommendations for reducing the spread of this virus.
We have released a guide to protesting in the age of COVID-19 that we hope you will find helpful this Saturday and beyond. It includes information on how to minimize your risk of spreading or contracting COVID-19 during a large gathering. We encourage everyone to follow these social distancing and hygiene guidelines to keep yourselves and your community healthy.
We would also like to remind everyone that Fenway Health is offering free COVID-19 testing to asymptomatic patients and staff on the basis of potential high-risk exposures—including attendance at protests and other large gatherings. Please call our medical appointment line at 617.927.6000 to schedule a telehealth evaluation and free COVID-19 testing appointment at Fenway Health.