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Transgender Equality Tops Agenda At TransCon Gathering

Nadege Green

TransCon, a day-long conference at Barry University, called for more public education about trans issues.

There were workshops that covered health issues, employment and spirituality. But one of the best-attended gatherings addressed discrimination and transgender equality.

Charo Valero, a field organizer with SAVE DADE, a gay rights organization, was one of the moderators at the “Next Step With Prejudice Reduction Workshop.”

“The problem is one in 10 people know someone who is transgender so it makes you wonder where the other nine people are getting their information,” she said.

Valero said in order to rip the figurative bullhorn from those spreading misinformation about the trans community, it will take a community-wide effort from transgender individuals and their allies.

She said the first step is for trans men and women to come forward and start sharing their personal stories of struggles and successes.

TransCon comes at a time when transgender advocates say the transgender community is under attack by politicians in Florida.

Miami Representative Frank Artiles recently introduced a bill that would make  it a crime for transgender individuals to use a restroom that doesn't match the gender they were assigned at birth, unless they can prove with legal documents that they’ve completed their transition.

“We are encountering a lot of discrimination right now especially with that bathroom bill that representative Artiles just introduced,” said Tori Bertran, a board member of Aqua Foundation for Women, the group that organized the conference.

Among the calls to action at the conference were demands for laws that protect transgender individuals, not discriminate against them.