Correction: This story has been updated to remove an erroneous list of open and affirming churches.
AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Friday, The Amarillo Area Transgender Advocacy Group (AATAG) held a protest at Ellwood park and Hodgetown, advocating for transgender rights and healthcare.
“We not out here to harm anybody, we are not out here to cause chaos. When you see us in the community, you don’t realize you see us, and we just want to make it aware, we are just people. We are nothing to be scared of,” said Sam Burnett, President of AATAG
Burnett said the protest is about being seen and for the healthcare of trans individuals. That includes not only mental healthcare, but necessary hormones.
“It doesn’t usually cover estrogen, testosterone, a lot of things. It doesn’t cover our surgeries and people don’t realize, they are like we don’t want to pay for that. It’s that simple for transgender people, we have so many people die every year because they just can’t handle it,” said Burnett.
Stacy Clopton Yates, a member of Open and Affirming Congregations of the Texas Panhandle was one of the speakers at the event. She says celebrating diversity is important in our community.
“The major religions of the world tell us to be kind to one another, to welcome a stranger, to reach out to one another with love and you can do that no matter who the person you are talking to or dealing with is,” said Clopton-Yates.
Burnett said it is important to have an open conversation with the community so people can understand them.
Burnett said holding this on Independence Day is important to them as the transgender community wants their own independence.
Clopton Yates said the mission of the OAC is help to the LGBTQIA individuals and their families find a faith community where they will be welcomed.
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