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Indybay Feature

Transgender Rights Now! Protesting TERF Convention in SF

by Rising in Community Defense
Demonstrators protested outside the Hilton Hotel in San Francisco's Financial District, where Women's Declaration International USA is holding its convention.
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Photos by Leon Kunstenaar, ProBonoPhoto. Please credit the photographer.

“We don’t let transphobia come into our town without being countered!” said Kristina Lee, an organizer with the National Mobilization for Reproductive Justice and MC of a loud protest on September 16th. Other co-sponsors, the Freedom Socialist Party, Radical Women, and Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club, helped bring the numbers and strength needed to show the TERFs convening inside the Hilton that San Francisco is a town that demands inclusivity of all gender choices.

TERF stands for trans exclusionary radical feminist. The Hilton Hotel has come under criticism for allowing a group that excludes trans folks, a discriminatory organization, to convene in their establishment.

Standing at a mic at the "speakout and rally" directly in front of the Hilton, about a dozen people explained their objection to the TERFs meeting, giving many reasons.

"By insisting on a feminism that excludes transwomen, those gathered at the Women’s Declaration International-USA convention are aiding right wing extremists whose very aim is to destroy feminism altogether", explained a representative of Radical Women. "These TERFs are radical but a different kind of radical," she said. "They are actually radically right wing and using disinformation to lead people down the pipeline to fascism."

Protesters acknowledged that for decades being gay or lesbian was considered a mental illness, "yet these TERFs think it's ok to apply that pathology to transgender people." Another speaker described those gathered inside the hotel as "fringe activists who argue that advancements in transgender rights will come at the expense of women’s rights."

In between powerful and excited speeches chants punctuated the air including "What do we want? Trans Justice Now!"


§Standing with our trans sisters
by Rising in Community Defense
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§Setting up directly in front of the Hilton
by Rising in Community Defense
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§The Hilton Financial District Borders on Chinatown
by Rising in Community Defense
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§Trans Woman Does Not Equal Man
by Rising in Community Defense
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A concept that TERFs detest
§Showing Up for Trans Rights
by Rising in Community Defense
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§Rainbow flag for trans inclusivity
by Rising in Community Defense
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§Honey Mahogany Speaks
by Rising in Community Defense
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Honey Mahogany is Chair of the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee, a social justice activist, and drag artist.
§This mom who fights for trans rights came from the South Bay
by Rising in Community Defense
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Other people came to protest all the way from Sacramento
§Members of the Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club
by Rising in Community Defense
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§Trans flags for all!
by Rising in Community Defense
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Masks for those who wanted them too.
§Signing up to help out in future events
by Rising in Community Defense
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§Flag above Hilton Sign
by Rising in Community Defense
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§Rising up
by Rising in Community Defense
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§A TERF gets push back from police
by Rising in Community Defense
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WDI organizers told a reporter they did not approve of anyone of their convention participants trying to engage with those outside. This one broke the rules.
§On the line
by Rising in Community Defense
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§Chants
by Rising in Community Defense
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§Trans Rights are Human Rights
by Rising in Community Defense
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