Jonathon Ambarian

HELENA (KPAX) — March 31 is “International Transgender Day of Visibility,” and advocates held a rally in Helena to mark the day.

Around 100 people gathered in the Montana State Capitol rotunda to highlight the state’s transgender, non-binary and two-spirit communities. Speakers at the rally protested a series of bills advancing in the Legislature that they called “attacks” against those Montanans.

“We deserve freedom, rights and protections, not because we are some mystical and magical beings, but because we are human beings,” said Keegan Medrano, policy director for the ACLU of Montana.

Attendees held signs against bills like Senate Bill 99, which would prohibit gender-affirming procedures for minors, and Senate Bill 458, which would codify a biological definition of sex in state law.

Afterwards, those in attendance spent several minutes in a “lie-in.” They lay on the floor, while singing, “My body is my own; I am in control.”

“Taking up that space with our bodies to really remind people in this building and beyond that we are not going to stop taking up space, we’re not going to stop existing,” said Izzy Milch, senior advocacy manager for Forward Montana.