BY STEVE ROTHAUS
Aqua Foundation for Women showed support for trans women and men by holding a protest at its own #aquaSOUNDS concert event Saturday night.
"It’s very important that throughout everything that Aqua does, we make it very clear that this is our community and we stand in solidarity with everyone in our community," said Charo Valero, an Aqua Foundation volunteer who works for LGBT-rights group SAVE.
Valero and Aqua Foundation Executive Director Robin Schwartz "organized the demonstration to raise awareness about the lack of rights and protections for people who are transgender," said Pamela Sweeney, another volunteer.
The protest happened after word spread that #aquaSOUNDS headliner Beverly McClellan would in August perform at Michigan Womyn's Music Festival, a feminist lesbian event that historically refuses to allow trans people to attend.
Even McClellan wore a "trans rights now" T-shirt at Saturday's Aqua concert.
"Aqua wanted to make sure everyone who was at that concert or anyone heard about it knows for certain, 100 percent certainty, that Aqua Foundation stands with the transgender community," Schwartz said. "It's important everywhere, but here there are no legal protections for them, which is ridiculous. And we need to do something about it."
Schwartz called Saturday's protest "very fitting."
The concert raised money for one of Aqua Foundation's top projects, the LGBTQ Youth Homelessness Initiative.
"The whole benefit was for the LGBTQ Community Homelessness Initiative and the transgender community is by far affected the most by homelessness," Schwartz said.