Melina Farley-Barratt wore a Wonder Woman costume and waved a transgender pride flag in front of Hobby Lobby Tuesday afternoon.
Cars rushed by as about 15 protesters held up signs encouraging drivers to “Honk for Trans Rights” and “Stand up for Human Beings” at the intersection of West Newberry Road and Northwest 62nd Street for about three hours.
Farley-Barratt, a 39-year-old transgender woman and activist, organized the protest two days after The New York Times reported that the Trump administration is considering redefining gender as sex determined at birth. Trans Americans would not be federally recognized under the new definition.
The protesters wanted to remind local transgender residents that there is a community that supports and believes in them, even if the current administration does not, Farley-Barratt said.
“We are here to protest the president’s plan to erase trans people,” she said.
Throughout the protest, men, women and children waved neon signs and chanted, “Trans rights are human rights.” Drivers passing by honked their horns in support.
The group chose to protest in front of Hobby Lobby because the company has discriminated against trans people, Farley-Barratt said.
Rose Vale did not wear a costume or hold a sign. The 59-year-old silently stood while watching the protest.
She said she has known trans people her whole life and wanted to see how others are showing support.
“We want to support equal rights for everyone and show that trans people deserve equal treatment,” Vale said.
Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that Melina Farley-Barratt was wearing a Wonder Woman costume.
Melina Rayna Svanhild Farley-Barratt, a 39-year-old Gainesville activist, waves a transgender flag during the “Won’t Be Erased!” rally Tuesday afternoon. The Trans Rights Action Committee hosted the event outside Hobby Lobby as a response to President Trump’s statement recently about eliminating the status of transgender and having a person’s sex be determined at birth. The Hobby Lobby was chosen as the location due to its public stance against the LGBTQ+ community.