Hundreds rally for transgender equality in Chicago

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Hundreds of people gathered Saturday near Halsted and Roscoe streets in Chicago’s Boystown neighborhood to support transgender equality.

The “Stand Up For Transgender Rights” rally was in response to the Trump administration’s move to reverse an order that allows students to use the bathroom or locker room that matches their identity.

Many who support transgender equality say the federal reversal will only invite discrimination and takes away protection from some of the most vulnerable people in the country.

Those opposed say it should not be a federal guideline, but rather left up to the states and school districts.

“We will fight together, we will stand together and we will win together,” said State Representative for the 13th district Greg Harris, who’s openly gay.

Lauren Heckathorne attended the rally fighting for trans-rights while she fights her own uphill battle.

“In my workplace right now, I'm fighting to get gender neutral bathrooms,” said Heckathorne. “I don’t identify as male or female and so neither of those bathrooms work and so to remember that we also need to start the conversation about a third bathroom option so that people who don't fit the binary have somewhere that they feel safe to go.”

Ultimately the debate over transgender students and bathrooms may be decided later this year by the Supreme Court. While at the local level civil rights organization Lambda Legal says in case of discrimination they will there to protect.

“Rescinding this Obama-era school guidance is just a shameless attempt to sew confusion and invite schools to discriminate against students,” said Alexis Paige, who’s openly transgender. “We here at Lambda Legal say no!”

Despite the president's orders, a spokesperson for Chicago Public Schools says students will still be allowed to use the bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.

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