Hundreds rally at LOVE Park for transgender rights

"It hurts that someone is going out of their way to take away my rights."

Mike Dougherty
October 23, 2018 - 9:54 pm

Mike Dougherty | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A large crowd turned out at Love Park Tuesday to rally for transgender rights in protest of a report that detailed the Trump Administration's plans to roll back some Obama-era protections. 

Holding fists in the air, both real and cardboard, rally participants say they won't be silenced. One after another, speakers demanded protection of policies that allow people to choose the gender that is displayed on their ID card. 

"I've paid thousands and thousands of dollars for surgeries. I've changed my name, my birth certificate, my social security card, all just to live my live freely," said Kevin Raysor.

Raysor has been transitioning for 10 years and can't believe all of the progress made is in jeopardy of being erased.

"It hurts that someone is going out of their way to take that from me," he said. "We won't be able to get our horomones. We won't be able to get different treatments. Sometimes insurance covers your surgeries, which are thousands of dollars, and they just started passing these laws a couple of years ago. All these things could be striped away from us."

Mike Dougherty | KYW Newsradio

On Sunday, The New York Times reported that the Department of Health and Human Services was circulating a memo proposing that gender be defined as an immutable biological condition determined by a person's sex organs at birth. The proposal would define sex as either male or female, and any dispute about one's sex would have to be clarified through genetic testing, according to the Times' account of the memo.

Kai Mondloch, who participated in the rally, says having her identification match her identity is incredibly important.

"Having a gender label that is inaccurate is a way for people to harass, belittle, and deny people access to resources, accommodations, just basic social support."

President Donald Trump briefly addressed the latest controversy as he left the White House Monday, but left unclear how his administration plans to proceed.

"We have a lot of different concepts right now," Trump said. "They have a lot of different things happening with respect to transgender right now — you know that as well as I do — and we're looking at it very seriously."

According to an estimate by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, there are about 1.4 million transgender adults in the United States.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.