Four thousand people came to Denver last week to participate in Creating Change, the annual conference of the National LGBTQ Task Force. The start of the conference’s opening plenary last Thursday night, entitled “Ferguson on our Minds” by two nationally known Black activists, was delayed when demonstrators chanting “Trans Lives Matter” unexpectedly streamed down the aisles and took to the stage of the Plaza Ballroom of the Sheraton Downtown Denver hotel. The protesters called for recognition of the state of violence and fear in which many trans-gender people live. Holding the stage for well over a half hour, They demanded that LGBTQ communities and the general public act to provide legal protections and other measures in support of trans-gender people. Later in the evening, awards were presented to trans activists Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi, and Alicia Garza who started the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter.
Also present at the conference were organizers from Ferguson, Missouri who made it known that they wished to address the conference as well. On Friday morning, the Task Force responded to the group from Ferguson, allocating them 5 minutes at the Friday afternoon plenary. When that plenary began on Friday afternoon, about 30 mostly young people moved on to the stage and again held it for over 30 minutes. While some identified as trans gender and echoed themes of the Thursday night protest, they mainly emphasized recognition of the murders and racism against people of color.