JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Sunday was Transgender Day of Visibility. In Jackson, dozens of people came out to show their support and raise awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide.
“This is a day to celebrate transgender people and non-binary people who stand up and tell their stories and that is one of the most powerful ways that people change their hearts and minds,” said a participant.
More than a dozen people came together to show their support for the trans community as part of Transgender Day of Visibility.
“It is an internationally recognized event. We want to uplift the voices of the transgender and gender non-conforming community and really help educate the community at large. Let them know we are here, and we have voices,” said Jensen Matar.
Jensen Matar helped organize the local event at Fondren Park. He says the transgender community is estimated at 15,000 in Mississippi.
“There are many misconceptions that we are confused, that we don't know who we are, but of all the people I met, I'll tell you now trans people are most certain of who they are. They are not trying to hurt anyone. They are trying to live their lives in peace,” said Mataar.
During the event some people spoke about the importance of living without fear and the struggle for transgender rights and equality.
“By changing the laws in our state, it will make it more equal and make them safer and have protections from non-discrimination ordinances to our cities to our state will make it much safe for them to live,” said a David Rexrode with the Human Rights Campaign.
As part of a beautification project, several transgender and gender non- conforming people as well as supporters took time to plant these flowers.
“We wanted a permanent fixture in Mississippi so for days like today or trans day of remembrance in November or any other time during the year people can gather together to celebrate the small and big victories the transgender community, ” said Matar.