Photos by Stephen Ford
Transgender people and their allies came together at Ardmore Hollywood Beach on Chicago’s North Side on Sunday for the second annual Trans Pride Beach Party. Rebecca Kling and Crispin Torres organized the event, which drew about 250 people. Torres and Kling are also co-directors of Trans 100, an annual awards ceremony that honors influential transgendered people who, Kling says, “are doing good work for the trans community.”
“Overall, the community in Chicago is strong.” Attendee Tesh Silver described herself as a friend and ally of trans people. “I’m here to support my friends and chosen family. Trans lives need to be uplifted, because at least 20 Black trans women have been killed this year alone.” Some attendees were not pleased to be asked questions.
Blue, who declined to give his last name, said, “It’s rare for us to be together because we increase each other’s visibility.” With visibility comes the risk of being outed, and the risk of physical violence. “If you think about a trans person’s life — the everyday experience of a trans person is constantly having to explain yourself, the possibility of being outed, dealing with preferred pronouns, and then a reporter comes along asking you questions.” Another person nearby added, “We’re here for a beach party, and we don’t want to have to answer these questions.”