Thousands of Local and National Queer and Trans Activists to Descend on Trump Hotel and #WERKforConsent
The National LGBTQ Task Force and WERK for Peace are throwing a massive dance protest of the administration’s blatant attack on our bodily autonomy and to highlight sexual violence.
(Washington, DC) - WERK for Peace and the National LGBTQ Task Force will hold a massive demonstration outside the Trump Hotel at 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW on Saturday, January 27 at 12:45 PM to spotlight consent. The dancers will be clad in rainbow paraphernalia, dance to empowering beats, and will be sure to leave behind bucketfuls of biodegradable confetti.
The Trump administration seeks to silence and sideline individuals at the margins – especially queer and trans individuals, people of color, immigrants, sex workers, people with disabilities – who experience sexual violence at higher rates. Donald Trump himself has been accused by at least 19 women of sexual misconduct. The demonstration is a time to uplift survivors’ voices and reclaim bodily autonomy.
Firas Nasr, founding organizer of WERK for Peace, says, “From rescinding protections of trans youth to permitting discrimination against LGBTQ+ people in healthcare, the administration has made it clear that they are actively opposed to our communities and are working to zap our bodily autonomy. We will dance to send a clear message that this bigotry will not be tolerated. In addition, with a serial sexual predator in the White House, our protest will highlight the sexual violence we experience and will create space for healing in the community through consent and movement.”
“Consent, body autonomy, and safety are cornerstones of the LGBTQ movement, and Donald Trump is the antithesis to our vision of freedom, justice, and equality,” says, Rea Carey, executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force. The event will include national LGBTQ activists who are attending the Task Force’s 30th Annual Creating Change Conference. The convening spotlights the need for justice and bodily autonomy on multiple fronts, including reproductive justice, anti-discrimination, and disability justice.
The protestors will also target the Wilson building to press the District Council, where two bills are currently being considered to decriminalize sex work and to address sexual and hate-based harassment on a citywide level.
Jessica Raven, executive director of Collective Action for Safe Spaces and a member of the Street Harassment Coalition and Sex Work Advocates Coalition, states, “If we want to end sexual harassment and assault, then we need to build solutions that make workplaces safe for everyone. That means bystander training and education for people in the workplace as well as recognizing that, for many communities, harassment starts at the door. Here in DC, 48% of employees preferred a less qualified cisgender applicant to a more qualified transgender applicant. 55% of Black trans adults in our city are unemployed, and that pushes many to engage in sex work to survive. We cannot keep shutting Black trans women out of the workforce and then criminalizing the work they do to survive. DC needs to decriminalize sex work and pass SHPA to end harassment for everyone.”
The event invite states: It’s time to come together and demand a world where no one has to say #MeToo. We’re calling on our federal government and our local government to believe survivors and pass legislation to address sexual violence using a public health approach that doesn’t increase criminalization and works to build consent culture. All bodies, genders, sexualities, and expressions are welcome.
Founded in response to the Pulse Nightclub shooting, WERK for Peace is a queer and trans grassroots movement that uses all forms of dance to promote peace. The queer and trans community has always been at the forefront of promoting change, and from Stonewall to Pulse, dance is integral to our movement, and to our healing. WERK is most notably known for the QT dance party in front of Mike Pence's house and the queer dance protest for climate justice at Ivanka Trump's. For more information, visit www.werkforpeace.org or follow them on Facebook and Twitter @werkforpeace.
The National LGBTQ Task Force advances full freedom, justice, and equality for LGBTQ people. We’re building a future where everyone is free to be themselves in every aspect of their lives. Today, despite all the progress we’ve made to end discrimination, millions of LGBTQ people face barriers in every aspect of their lives: in housing, employment, healthcare, retirement, and basic human rights. These barriers must go. That’s why the Task Force is training and mobilizing millions of activists across our nation to deliver a world where you can be you.
Photo: Miki Jourdan