City Cast

A Brief History on Trans Pride & Why It's Necessary

Terina Ria
Terina Ria
Posted on August 7
The first transgender pride flag was created in 1999 by Monica Helms. (@projectrainbowutah/Instagram)

The first transgender pride flag was created in 1999 by Monica Helms. (@projectrainbowutah/Instagram)

Utah Trans Pride

Utah is one of just three places in the nation that holds a trasngender-focused pride festival. It was started by the nonprofit Genderbands in 2020 (the first was held virtually due to the pandemic). This year’s event will take place at Memorial Park in Provo on Saturday, Aug. 12 from 12-6 p.m., and it’s free to attend.

The History of Trans Pride

The first known trans pride protest occurred in 1966 at Gene Compton’s cafeteria in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District, three years before the Stonewall riots that inspired June’s Pride Month celebration. Tenderloin was one of the few neighborhoods where trans women and drag queens could be themselves in public. One early morning in August, a trans woman who was fed up with ongoing police harassment threw a cup of coffee in an officer’s face, which started a full-on riot.

Why Have Two Prides?

The gay community hasn’t always been inclusive of trans people. Despite leading the Stonewall uprising, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera — two transgender women of color — were largely shut out of the gay rights movement. In 1973, Rivera was booed off stage after attempting to speak at a gay liberation march. Trans pride celebrates, centers, and brings visibility to the trans community.

The Intersection Between Race & Transgender Identity

Transgender women of color are disproportionately targeted in violent hate crimes. According to the Human Rights Campaign Anti-Trans Violence Report, between 2013 and 2018 there were over 120 reports of anti-trans murders, and 80% of those were trans women of color.

The Little Gay Garden is selling bouquets that you can gift to trans attendees at Utah Trans Pride. A portion of sales will also be donated to Genderbands.

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