Plattsburgh rally commemorates Stonewall riot

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PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) On the 51st anniversary of the Stonewall riot in New York City, people in Plattsburgh commemorated the progress that has been made in the LGBTQ movement, as well as pushing for more change.

In June 1969, police raided The Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City, hauling out patrons and employees and leading to a six-day standoff between law enforcement and protesters. The uprising has been credited as the catalyst of the gay rights movement in the U.S. and around the world.

On Sunday, the Adirondack North Country Gender Alliance led a rally at Trinity Park in Plattsburgh to celebrate Stonewall and ramp up the fight for transgender protections. Nearly 50 people lined the streets to call for more attention to the violence, rollback of rights, and discrimination the community is facing.

Sage Wolf decided to put the event together when he heard earlier this month that the Trump administration is reversing transgender protections in health care.

“So, a trans person could be shot, stabbed and they end up at the ER. And the doctor, because of their religious beliefs, could say, 'I don’t want to treat this patient.' And by then, it could be too late for them,” he said.

The group is also demanding the end of violence against transgender people. The Human Rights Campaign says 16 transgender Americans were murdered this year. Protesters say their stories often go untold.

“We can’t have our sisters and brothers just murdered with no media attention. If we don’t focus on that, how will people ever know these people’s stories, our stories?” said Kelly Metzgar of the Adirondack North Country Gender Alliance.

The LGBTQ community says trans women are the most at risk of violence, specifically trans women of color. Protesters want to see a stronger collaboration between Black Lives Matter and the LGBTQ community.

“If we work together, we are stronger together. We will have much more of a voice. We’ll have much more of an impact,” Metzgar said.

The Human Rights Campaign says trans women of color are at a disproportionate risk of deadly violence due to “the intersections of racism, sexism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and unchecked access to guns conspire to deprive them of employment, housing, health care and other necessities.”