Hundreds rally on Common for trans and queer rights
Organizers focus on oppressed voices
Katie Cohen of Waltham listened to music at the “Trans and Queer Liberation’’ rally Saturday on the Common.
By Martha Schick, Globe Correspondent

Hundreds gathered on Boston Common for a “Trans and Queer Liberation’’ rally and march on Saturday afternoon.

Speakers addressed the crowd from the steps leading from the Common to the State House for about an hour and a half before marching to Copley Square.

Amelia Spinney, one of the organizers, said the rally’s intention was to hold local elected officials accountable.

“We want to address issues within the trans and queer community,’’ said Spinney, who uses they/them pronouns. “When we think about the members of our community that are under attack, it’s trans youth and trans women of color.’’

Spinney said issues of concern include local immigration problems and policing in predominantly minority neighborhoods. The organizers wanted the rally to give those most oppressed in the community a voice.

“We want to lift them up into positions of leadership and honor them,’’ Spinney said.

Although the organizers said the focus of the rally was local, speakers and signs addressed the effect president-elect Donald Trump has had on queer and transgender people.

But even among signs reading “Stop Trump’’ and posters with unsightly caricatures of the president-elect, genderqueer musician Evan Greer didn’t give Trump much mike time, saying that problems for the trans and queer community had existed long before the November election.

To prove the point, Greer sang, “Make some noise if you think your government is working for you.’’ The audience fell silent, just as Greer planned, singing “Check, one, two’’ jokingly into the megaphone.

Thirty local organizations co-sponsored the event, including the American Civil Liberties Union Massachusetts, Black Lives Matter Cambridge, Jewish Voice for Peace Boston, and Queer Muslims of Boston.

Samantha Lifson, holding a sign reading “Too many issues for one sign,’’ said the multitude of problems was why she was marching.

Marching down the middle of Beacon Street, leaders started the call and response: “Up with trans rights, down with alt-right,’’ referring to the political ideology based on racism, white supremacy, and populism.

Their signs carried the same message of pride, with phrases like, “My pronouns are mandatory, not preferred’’ and “Trans rights are human rights.’’

Martha Schick can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @MarthaSchick.