SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A rally on steps of Scranton’s city hall was held to show support for the trans and non-binary community here in Pennsylvania. This comes as a Pennsylvania bill has many in the LGBTQ community concerned.
“We’re here, we’re queer, we’re not going anywhere,” said James Glatz.
Organizations and local supporters came out to Scranton’s municipal building to protest rights for trans and nonbinary youth.
“Every student should deserve to feel safe and secure in school. So that’s why we wanted to have this rally, spread some love, tell legislators you know to do your job. Focus on the pandemic and jobs. Don’t focus on trans youth. Just let our kids be kids and go to school,” explained Daye Pope, Director of Civic Engagement.
The protest was against PA lawmakers who pushed for fairness in Women’s Sports Act House Bill 972 and against conversion therapy which is legal in all but two counties in Pennsylvania.
“That would ban trans kids from participating fully in school activities including sports. And conversion therapy would try to change queer and trans kids to not be queer and trans anymore,” stated Pope.
Glatz recalls what it’s like being a nonbinary kid in school and says no student should face the same harassment they did.
“Specifically, non-discrimination policies, inclusion policies to provide a safe space so you know trans people and especially trans kids know they’re not going to be harrassed or discriminated against,” said Glatz.
Jontel Toland traveled from Lancaster to rally and show lawmakers the faces behind the LGBTQIA+ community.
“We need to be visible and people need to see what the issues are and they need something tangible to go off of. If you are not visible it’s kind of like you don’t go heard as much,” explained Toland.
Supporters were pleased the rally remained peaceful and organizers are planning to hit more cities across the state to continue to spread their message of love and acceptance.