A “Pop-Up Love Party” was held on Saturday, April 1st by the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs, in collaboration with GALAEI, Trans-health Information Project (TIP), Attic Youth Center, William Way, ACLU, Mazzoni Center, and other community organizations in protest of the anti-trans “Free Speech Bus Tour” that was scheduled to make a stop in Philadelphia, reports Ernest Owens for GPhilly.
The bright orange bus is covered in transphobic messages and images, including “It’s Biology: Boys are boys … and always will be. Girls are girls … and always will be. You can’t change sex. Respect all”. The bus, whose organizers include CitizenGO and the National Organization for Marriage, has been making along the east coast for several weeks now and is frequently met with protests and vandalism.
Approximately one hundred community members collected at City Hall to hear newly-elected transgender activist and advocate Sharron Cooks and others speak as well as raise a transgender pride flag at 11 AM.
Shortly after the ceremony was over, the infamous bus appeared, and the crowd rushed over. Some community members blocked its way, chanting “Trans lives matter!” Black-clad individuals set off smoke bombs, and eggs were reportedly thrown at the bus. The bus ultimately only stayed for around ten minutes before pulling away.
Sharron Cooks lamented to GPhilly that most news outlets focus on the attacks on the bus, ignoring the event beforehand. She told GPhilly “Our event at City Hall was a very loving and empowering event for the trans community and allies, the media’s current focus on the unintended aftermath wasn’t reflective of what our true intentions were.”
Read the full story about the hate bus counter protest at GPhilly.
Originally posted 4/5/2017