In a show of support for the trans+ community, Equality Illinois and a coalition of other local/state organizations held a press conference March 28 at Chicago Federal Plazabut it was abruptly shortened because of the presence of a previously invited group.
During the event, Equality Illinois Deputy Director Mony Ruiz-Velasco said, "We are here to say we support LGBTQ communities, that we will be visible and present and seen. We want [all communities], especially young people, to know that they are seen and supported and loved."
Ruiz-Velasco then talked about what Equality Illinois is doing, especially on the legislative front: "We have three different actions we are calling for today. We have two bills currently pending at the [Illinois] State House that will remove barriers for trans community membersone will remove barriers for folks who want to change their name (HB 2542) and the other removes barriers for changing gender markers on birth certificates (HB 9).
"And we also have our National Trans Day of Visibility at the end of this week on Thursday [March 31]. "
Stephanie Skoraof the South Side, trans-led organization Brave Space Alliance, which is hosting the March 31 eventprovided details: "We're having a rally/press conference of our own and a community healing space and vigil for Tee Tee Labelle, Elise Malary and all the trans people who have been lost to trans-antagonistic violence this year, on [March 31] at Daley Plaza."
Then, while Life Is Work founder Zahara Bassett spoke to the crowd, a group from Ex-Cons For Community & Social Change interrupted the press conference and drowned out the press conference speakers by using a bullhorn. After about 15 minutes of disruption, about 30 Chicago police officers arrived and separated the two groups. For the safety of the community, Ruiz-Velasco canceled the rest of the press conference.