Protesters Fight For Transgender Rights In Rally

Posted at 9:53 PM, Feb 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-25 01:00:07-05

Parents, educators, and students came out Friday night to fight for transgender rights on the steps of Legislative Plaza.

On Wednesday, the Justice Department and the Education Department announced the removal of protections for transgender students that allowed them to use bathrooms corresponding with their gender identity.

Those at the protest feel that this hurts the LGBT community.

“To know that the Trump administration is not standing by guidelines that help protect our trans student is really worrisome to me as a transperson, as a teacher of transpeople, working with trans-youth,” Change Project member Shawn Reilly said.

Reilly has works at an after-school program in Nashville for four years. She said she has experienced the lack of protection in the past wants state leaders to keep transgender people safe.

“I myself have been sexually assaulted and physically assaulted in bathrooms because I was not safe in them. If I'm not protected, that can happen to me and it does happen to me and people across the country.

Reilly hopes leaders like Representative Mark Pody and state representative Mae Beavers do not follow the federal government’s actions.



Pody filed a bill that would require students in public schools and public institutions of higher education to use restrooms and locker rooms that are assigned to the gender on their birth certificate.

“We're not trying to impede on anybody else but we're just going to continue to have safety for children and continue with how it's always been,” Pody told NewsChannel 5 on Friday.

Tennessee's Lt. Governor Randy McNally said the Trump administration's decision to lift protections for transgender students negates the need for the state to pass a bathroom bill.

McNally, a Republican from Oak Ridge, said Thursday that pending state legislation is no longer needed because of the Trump administration's move Wednesday.