Milan Nicole Sherry

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Milan Nicole Sherry

Trans rally

On November 19 2021, over 100 trans activists and their friends defiantly gathered at New Orleans City Hall. On the day recognized nationally as Trans Day of Remembrance, their fourth annual Trans March of Resilience emphasized the struggles that trans people face to survive.

Lead organizer of Trans March of Resilience, Milan Nicole Sherry, said “As we march today we firmly declare that trans rights are human rights. It is our obligation to uplift, expand and protect the rights of transgender brothers, sisters and siblings, including those who are immigrants.”

Ed Abraham of the Real Name Campaign said “it was people like us and everyone here whose activism made our ‘representatives’ know that we wouldn’t allow them to attack us or to attack trans children.”

Speakers at Trans March of Resilience highlighted the disproportionate rates of violence and discrimination faced by Black transgender women and trans people of other oppressed nationalities. Two-thirds of the known killings of trans people since 2013 have been against Black trans women.

Another major theme of the march was the economic exploitation faced by poor and working-class trans people. “All trans people should have access to gainful employment,” said Milan Nicole Sherry, “and should get access to affordable childcare, affirming healthcare, and safe work environments.”

A speaker from Freedom Road Socialist Organization drew attention to the need for people’s movements to unite and defend the interests of working-class communities, including trans communities.[1]

Real Name Campaign

On the morning of September 12 2020, trans activists and supporters gathered in front of New Orleans City Hall for a press conference and community update. Participants celebrated the trans and gender non-conforming (TGNC) people’s victories of the summer, and talked about next steps.

Real Name Campaign NOLA organized the event, with House of Tulip in support. The Real Name Campaign is an organization fighting for accessible ID changes, like name changes and the “M” and “F” on IDs. Incorrect IDs insult TGNC people’s dignity and expose us to discrimination. House of Tulip is creating sustainable housing for Louisiana’s TGNC people. This organization’s Black trans leaders come from the oppressed communities that they fight for. Both organizations’ causes are essential for TGNC people to live full lives with shelter, employment and healthcare.

Dylan Sojic-Borne spoke for the Real Name Campaign. She highlighted how the people’s pressure forced Civil District Court to drop name change fees from $506 to $250 in mid-August. The Court only did this because they lost two business days when campaign supporters crammed their phone lines. More change will come from the people’s struggles. Full demands include non-binary gender markers (“X”) and accessible ID changes for incarcerated people. Next up, the group will take the fight to the Department of Motor Vehicles in response to its transphobic harassment and ID restrictions.

Milan Nicole Sherry spoke as the co-president of the House of Tulip. Her speech emphasized how TGNC people and supporters never stop the fight: “I’d like to give a shout-out to community, because community always shows up and shows out, and I never doubt that.” She announced that the organization has found a property, and will soon offer housing aid. She said that the House of Tulip will have a spot for donations by mid-October, and asked for clothing - especially jackets, sweaters and chest binders.

Toni Dupelchain-Jones of both the Real Name Campaign and House of Tulip summarized the event’s message to Civil District Court judges and other officials: “If you don’t see us, if you don’t hear us, you best believe you’re going to fear us.”[2]

Transgender fund

Transgender community activists in Louisiana put together a crisis fund. It gives cash to trans and gender non-conforming people hit hardest by COVID-19.

The people starting up this crisis fund and fighting back come from the state’s community movements, including Milan Nicole Sherry (of the Trans March of Resilience), Dylan Waguespack (Louisiana Trans Advocates), Mariah Moore (Human Rights Commission), Spirit McIntyre (Trans Visible) and Dylan Borne (Real Name Campaign and the Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack!).[3]