The Chattanooga Trans Liberation Collective (CTLC) is a coalition that provides support to the LGBTQ+ community. CTLC began in 2020 after anti-LGBTQ+ legislation began forming in Tennessee.
There are a lot of us out here that do not support those laws. I know there may be a lot of people that are very loud around you that, you know, might tell you that you don't belong, but that's not true, says Hannah Schobert.
Hannah Schobert with CTLC says they do not support these restrictive bills and are here to let young people know they are not alone. Hannah says the coalition knows what the trauma feels like, and they want to mitigate the harm that these bills are causing. She says the legislation made them want to take action and do something, so, they threw a rally in Coolidge Park last fall to show support for the transgender community and speak on these laws.
One bill that CTLC is keeping an eye on is SB 657. This bill "prohibits a person from providing or facilitating the provision of sexual identity change therapy to a minor who has not yet entered puberty." Once that child hits puberty, there is still a list of things, the teen must do to actually receive sexual identity change therapy.
Another bill that cause a lot of controversy in Tennessee, required businesses to post a notice if they allow transgender people to use bathrooms that match their gender identity. During the summer of 2021, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on behalf of two business owners, one being the Sanctuary Performing Arts & Cafe in Chattanooga, to block the law from taking effect. When I spoke to Hannah about the bill, she told me that there has not been an update on the lawsuit.
Here at home, Hannah says the Chattanooga Trans Liberation Collective does not have a physical space to meet, but they do connect virtually on Sundays through Zoom. She says if anyone is interested in participating you can reach out on Facebook on Instagram. The coalition hopes to begin regular meetings, where members can talk about things they want to see happen in the community, and Hannah says we should see more events from them in the future.
My name is Jess and I love telling other peoples stories and bringing awareness to the community.