Light projections return to Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, Seattle honoring trans rights

Saint Mark's Episcopal Cathedral, Seattle
Posted Jun 26, 2023

“Protect Trans Lives” is projected in letters over three feet high on the west facade of Saint Mark’s Cathedral Seattle. (Photo courtesy of Saint Mark’s Cathedral.)

Saint Marks’ Episcopal Cathedral and the ACLU of Washington have partnered once again to call for social change in the form of a light projection project. The duo’s “Projecting Justice” series returned this week. The project uses light projections to display large messages in support of social movements on the west façade of Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral on Capitol Hill in Seattle, visible from Interstate 5 and Lake Union.

This year, in honor of Pride Month and amidst a wave of anti- LGBTQIA2S+ legislation in state legislatures throughout the country, the project calls on the need to bolster transgender rights. The two messages will be on display each night during Seattle’s biggest Pride celebrations, beginning with “Protect Trans Lives” on June 20, and changing to “Protect Trans Kids” the following week. The projections will be visible through June 29.

The projections direct people to projectingjustice.org, where readers can access information about various Pride events to celebrate throughout the summer. The site also highlights recent legislative victories in Washington state concerning gender affirming care. While nearly 500 anti-LGBTQIA2S+ bills have been introduced in legislatures throughout the country (mostly targeting transgender and nonbinary people), Washington state recently took actions to strengthen protections.

In April, Gov. Jay Inslee signed a series of bills into law that expand and defend access to gender-affirming health care, including bills that protect people’s private health data and expand protections for providers who offer reproductive and gender affirming care.

“Everyone has the right to be themselves fully and freely, and these bills provide critical protections for many people in LGBTQIA2S+ communities,” said Leah Rutman, health care and liberty counsel at the ACLU of Washington. “During this time where many states seek to target transgender and gender diverse people, Washington must be a leader in protecting access to care and ensuring all people can live safely, freely and authentically.”

This is the third consecutive year Saint Mark’s and the ACLU-WA have partnered for their Projecting Justice project. In May of 2021, Projecting Justice started by displaying messages that honored George Floyd and other victims of police violence. And in March 2022, the message “Families Belong Together” was projected, in celebration of positive developments in the case of Jaime Rubio, an immigrant who had been living in sanctuary on the Saint Mark’s Cathedral property for three years to avoid an unjust deportation and the separation of his family.

“Saint Mark’s Cathedral serves as a beacon on the hill above Seattle, visible to thousands each day,” said The Very Rev. Steven L. Thomason, Dean of Saint Mark’s. “The current wave of anti-LGBTQ legislation impacts trans people across the country and in our own cathedral community, and we are proud to be able to use our unique position make this statement.”

Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral has been committed to social justice since its founding in 1889, and today it is a place where men, women, and nonbinary people, including transgender and other LGBTQIA2S+ people, participate fully in all levels of the leadership of the church, including ordained ministry.

For more information, please visit projectingjustice.org