While Pittsburgh Catholics gathered inside St. Paul Seminary to hear Dr. Theresa Farnan speak Tuesday afternoon, a group of pro-trans individuals was assembling outside.
Dr. Farnan, who has become well-known for her anti-trans standpoint, gave a presentation Tuesday on the Catholic approach to transgenderism. Protesters consisting of members and friends of the transgender community stood in front of the East Carnegie religious institution with a counter message for all those who entered or passed, while church security looked on.
Take a look.
The protest was organized by the Steel City Satanists, though several ralliers had no affiliation with the group. Tom Kennedy attended the protest with his daughter to prove not all Catholics feel the same way as Dr. Farnan.
“[My daughter and I] decided to come here and just make it known that this isn’t the way that all Catholics think or believe, in terms of labeling transgender people as people that just are that way because of a choice,” Kennedy began.
Camped feet away from the seminary’s front gate, the father and husband added that while he’s participated in protests like Pittsburgh’s Women’s March in the past, Tuesday’s rally was his first in terms of transgender issues.
Kennedy hopes his involvement will convey the message that it is possible to build a relationship with the church, while simultaneously accepting the transgender community as equals.
“I just think that the idea of a church, and I speak lovingly of our church as a life-long Catholic, that our church has to realize that the science behind this is something that it needs to get behind, and understand this is who God made these people to be,” he said.
On the opposite corner of the seminary’s entrance, picket sign in hand, stood Daeva Zephyrine.
Zephyrine, a transgender woman and co-leader of the Steel City Satanists, just wants others to understand that trans people are no different than anyone else.
“We’re here to kind of challenge the notion that trans people don’t deserve the same treatment, rights and humanities that all other people do,” Zephyrine said.
She added that the group strives to do good throughout Pittsburgh, regarding more than just trans issues. Recently, the organization ran a supply drive for the area’s homeless population.