A major pro-transgender rally set to be held in Washington, D.C. this Saturday has been canceled following a school shooting in Nashville by a transgender former student.
Organizers of the rally, dubbed “Trans Day of Vengeance,” cited safety concerns in their decision to pull the plug on an event meant to push back against policies being implemented across the country they perceive as anti-transgender.
Writing on Twitter, organizers claimed the cancellation was required due to the “flood of raw hatred directed toward the trans community” following the shooting at a Christian school where the attacker was a former student. The act of violence claimed the lives of six individuals, including three children.
The organizers wrote:
“Individuals who had nothing to with that heinous act have been subjected to highly serious threats and blamed only because of their gender identity. This is one of the steps in genocide, and we will continue our efforts to protect trans lives. While we wholeheartedly believe in the mission and message we put forth for trans day of vengeance, we must prioritize the safety of our community and the people that make it up.”
Tensions around the issue of transgender identify have been heightened for years by public discussions of athletes in collegiate sports and surgical procedures on minors. Following the shooting, pro-transgender protestors stormed Nashville’s capitol building demanding increased gun control. The resulting chaos led to clashes with police that conservative political commentators termed a “trans-surrection” in reference to the insurrectionist label applied to President Donald Trump’s supporters for the January 6, 2021 riots in Washington, D.C.
The political motivations of deceased shooter Audrey Hale, 28, have been the source of public speculation after an unreleased manifesto was discovered. Investigators continue to scour the shooter’s writings for motives but say that the attack was “targeted” against the school while the shooting itself was indiscriminate as Hale fired shots at anyone in the line of sight.