USCA Plenary Halted by Trans Activists
September 9, 2017
Paul Kawata, the famously affable director of the National Minority AIDS Project (NMAC), which produces the conference, invited protesters onto the stage once it became clear the small group of vocal activists were not going to leave the foot of the stage. Achim Howard, a trans activist, engaged in an extended and passionate rebuke of the erasure of trans people and of a public health system that often does not recognize their existence. He was followed by four other activists, one with a small son in tow who was playfully unaware of the dramatic proceedings.
Kawata stood patiently and supportively beside the five activists, each of whom riveted the crowd of several thousand delegates with deeply personal stories and pleas to recognize, serve, and employ trans people. As the minutes passed, however, and as the precisely timed USCA program became further delayed, Kawata became visibly eager to get NMAC's largest annual event back on track.
Watch the protest in its entirety here:
This protest was of a more organic nature, and clearly not a previously approved action. However spontaneous the protest may have been, the five speakers riveted the delegation with their deeply personal stories, sometimes tearfully explaining to the crowd the crushing difficulty of fighting for acceptance within the HIV community.
The activists schooled this conference, pure and simple. Congratulations all around: to the advocates with the courage to act up, and to Paul Kawata and NMAC for embracing activism and those who believe they have no other choice but to disrupt.
Watch the video. I guarantee you will learn something.
[Note from TheBodyPRO.com: This article was originally published by Mark S. King on Sept. 9, 2017. We have cross-posted it with his permission.]
Read Mark's blog on TheBody.com, My Fabulous Disease.
Conversations on Viral Suppression and HIV Transmission, Social Media and HIV, and an Update on PACHA From the 2017 U.S. Conference on AIDS
This article was provided by MyFabulousDisease.com. It is a part of the publication The 21st United States Conference on AIDS. Visit Mark's live blog.
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