Source: Generation Ratify Amherst
Generation Ratify Amherst organized their fourth annual banner drop on November 4 at the First Churches of Northampton. The event was co-hosted by the Massachusetts Commission on LGTBQ+ Youth. A vibrant banner, in the colors of the transgender flag, was hung on the front lawn, stating, “Gender Affirming Care is Healthcare”. The event began at one p.m. with a photo-op in front of the banner. This was followed by remarks from Alice Jenkins, senior at Hampshire Regional High School and Women’s March organizer; Congressional Representative Jim McGovern; Miranda Balkin from Oxbow Primary Care; Julia Mathis, Legislative Aide to State Representative Lindsay Sabadosa; Tyra Redwood, Student Conference Committee Coordinator at Collective Power for Reproductive Justice; and Ada Paessel, Generation Ratify Amherst Outreach Director. The emcee was Generation Ratify Amherst member Olive Paradis. In their remarks, speakers advocated for the importance of accessible gender-affirming care for all, and the intersectionality of LGTBQ+ rights and gender equality. Congressman McGovern spoke about the importance of youth activism, saying, “I want you to know I will always be wind at your back. I want you to succeed in your efforts, and I want to win. And with you as our allies, I know we will.”
Generation Ratify, founded in 2019 by high schoolers in Arlington, Virginia, is a national, youth-led, intersectional organization working to enact the Equal Rights Amendment and enshrine legal gender equality into the U.S. Constitution. Since it was founded in May 2020 by Marisol Pierce Bonifaz, the local chapter, Generation Ratify Amherst, has organized numerous events, including four banner drops, a flashmob, a lobbying campaign, a feminist art benefit, and a school walkout in response to Roe vs. Wade being overturned.
Generation Ratify Amherst commented on the event: “In the turbulent and unprecedented times that we live in, it is of the utmost importance to recognize the intersectionality of gender equality. Bodily autonomy lies at the core of what we, as an organization, are fighting for, and gender-affirming care is an important aspect of this multifaceted issue. We must continue fighting for this life-saving healthcare and work towards an equal and inclusive healthcare system.
“Generation Ratify Amherst’s fourth annual banner drop was a community event, meant to spread awareness about the attacks that have been made on this crucial healthcare. We encourage everyone, of all ages, genders, sexualities, and races to continue fighting for gender equality to be codified into our Constitution, thus ensuring access to the healthcare our country deserves.”