Equality TXK Silent Gathering


More than sixty participants gathered at the Vietnam War Memorial Saturday
evening to observe thirty minutes of silence to show support for transgender service members.
Participants also signed a painting representing the thousands of transgender troops who serve
in the United States armed forces. The painting will be given as a gift to SPART*A, an
organization that exists to support LGBT service members, veterans, and their families.  The
gathering was held in response to President Trump’s tweets stating transgender individuals
would not be allowed to serve in the United States military.  

Jimmy Pope, Jr., founder and CEO of Equality Texarkana, stated “Every American should have
the right to volunteer to defend the freedom that we all enjoy. Transgender military members
bravely put their lives at risk for us, and we want to show them we support them and are
thankful for their service.”  Tam Sewell, the CFO of Equality Texarkana and a transgender man,
stated, “I am touched by the love shown tonight to our trans military siblings by the people of

In addition to the gathering, Equality Texarkana is organizing a support group for transgender
individuals that will be led by Mr. Sewell. Equality Texarkana also offers a support group for
parents of LGBT people, as well as free group therapy for LGBT adolescents and adults. The
organization is encouraging the community to contact their legislators and voice their support for
the LGBT community, and transgender service members in particular.  

About Equality Texarkana: Equality Texarkana is the preeminent non-profit organization in the
greater Texarkana area dedicated to equality. The group acts as advocates and defenders of
the LGBTQ community and stands up for anyone who is affected by inequality. They strive to
foster a sense of community and unity among all people through public events, education, and
mental health services. Members of Equality Texarkana are committed to living a life based on
respect, tolerance, and acceptance of others no matter their ethnicity, religion, gender, gender
identity, sexual orientation, race, or political affiliation.  Equality Texarkana recently organized
Texarkana’s first Pride March, which took place on June 11, 2017, and was attended by nearly
200 participants.

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