By Moriah Story
On Saturday, April 2, a rally was held outside the Franklin County Visitors Bureau in recognition of National Trans Day of Visibility. The event was held by the PA Coalition for Trans Youth in conjunction with Transgender Advocates Knowledgeable Empowering (TAKE). Nearly 100 people gathered to hear advocates and allies speak, with many holding signs and wearing shirts in support of the LGBTQIA+ community.
The rally also was held in response to The Bureau Council’s repealing of Chambersburg’s nondiscrimination ordinance, which happened in January of this year. Since then, both residents of Franklin County and residents across the state have voiced their frustration with the actions taken by the Council to weaken protections for minority groups.
Ten speakers offered their perspectives on the situation, voicing their encouragement to local changemakers and their desire to see the nondiscrimination ordinance back in place before the end of 2022. Those who spoke included local activists, members of the transgender community, pastors and even Chambersburg Councilwoman, Alice Elia. The voice recording of her speech is included above.
The crowd was responsive and receptive to all the speakers, and the chant, “Reinstate the NDO!” could be heard across the square several times. Event organizer Janelle Crossley stated about the trans community in Chambersburg, “We do the same things you do. Please don’t look down upon us as someone lesser than you. Don’t judge someone because you don’t know their story, and don’t talk hate because it could be somebody you love.”
Attendees were encouraged to register to vote, and most importantly, to continue calling for equality in Franklin County, as well the nation.