September 9, 2017
This article originally appeared on My Fabulous Disease.
The United States Conference on AIDS (USCA), celebrating thirty years of teaching practical skills to HIV service providers, found itself the target of old-school activism on Friday when transgender activists stopped the plenary program to voice their frustrations about being underrepresented by the organizations in attendance and by the conference itself.
Paul Kawata, the famously affable director of the National Minority AIDS Project (NMAC), which produces the conference, invited protesters into 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.