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Saturday, May 21, 2022

Trans Pride Fest celebrates transgender community through music and dancing

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As music blares over the speakers, a large group of people donned in colorful eye makeup, bright jewelry, LGBTQ+ flags and patches surround a stage in front of the University Union. On the lawn around them, booths were inhabited by organizations from both on and off-campus, local artists, outreach groups and first aid.

People were gathered on the South Lawn for Trans Pride Fest, the combined effort of organizations Don’t Mess with Texas Trans People and UNT Young Democratic Socialists of America.

Violet, head of Don’t Mess With Trans Texans and university senior, said the goal of the event was to create an atmosphere of celebration and solidarity. Violet asked to be referred to by their first name only to avoid online harassment and potential doxxing, the publication of private personal information without consent. Violet said they saw the community come together during the Transgender Storytime held at Armadillo Ale Works in March.

The story time was supposed to be held this past November at the North Branch Library but had to be moved to Armadillo Ale Works after safety concerns for guests.

“After a series of protests and constant anti-trans legislation being passed in Texas and all over the country […] I wanted to provide an event for trans people to just be able to come out, be safe and have a good time without having to feel like they’re fighting for space,” Violet said.

Violet said the event was a way to make the trans and queer communities on campus feel seen, and to connect queer people with organizations and resources that are focused on supporting them such as Outreach Denton and UNT GLAD.

Decriminalize Denton, Here to Stay, Socialist Revolution, university organization The Space and other Denton and Dallas-Fort Worth groups supported the festival. Among the supporters was mayoral candidate Paul Meltzer.

“The arc of history bends towards justice, but not naturally,” Meltzer said. “I want to advocate for [LGBTQ+] people in my campaign because equality is and should be for everyone.”

During the event, the crowd went from booth to booth, sat on the lawn and sang and danced to the bands on the stage. Bands Homewrecker & the Bedwetters and Kaiju Queers played loudly and energetically, drowning out those who had come to protest the event.

“We feel excited to be here,” said Dominic Baylock, frontman of Homewrecker and the Bedwetters and Denton resident. “It’s sweet to have these people come together and share these emotions.”

Aside from the transgender students who attended, there were also many cisgender students as well as alumni and guests.

“I’m a cis person myself and I’m excited that a lot of my [trans] friends can be here,” media arts sophomore Lorenzo Canizares said. “It’s great to see them thrive.”

Featured Image: Homewrecker and the Bedwetters perform at the Trans Pride Fest on April 23, 2022. Photo by Abigail Mueller

Featured video shot and edited by Madeleine Moore

Article Originally Published by Susan Moore on North Texas Daily

Source: North Texas Daily

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