PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Organizers are calling it the largest transgender equality march ever held in the city of Pittsburgh.
The gathering at the City County Building on Friday afternoon was sparked by the Trump Administration’s move this week to roll back protections for transgender students in public schools.
Organizers say as many as 700 people turned out to make it plain that they are not okay with President Trump leaving the so-called bathroom debate to the states.
“They get beat up in one bathroom and yelled at in another. You know, life is hard enough as a kid in school,” said Brenda Graham, of Squirrel Hill.
President Trump’s move undoes former President Obama’s instruction to public schools that transgender students should be able to use the bathroom matching their gender identity.
Some at the march said this is about more than bathrooms.
Janet Lunde, of Squirrel Hill, says a friend’s transgender grandson attempted suicide at 14, but went on to find acceptance.
“Today, he’s got a great life, after he came out and transitioned, and we need to support people with this,” she said.
“This is not special rights, this is not additional rights, it’s just understanding that every American has the same rights, and no administration has the ability to take those away,” said Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto.
The Pittsburgh Public Schools adopted a policy last year saying transgender students may use whichever bathroom corresponds with their gender identity.
The district says the new White House guidance changes nothing.