HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — As many states ban gender-affirming medical care for transgender kids. Activists at Pennsylvania’s Capitol held a Trans Day of Visibility rally on March 31 as a show of support for trans kids. They also called on lawmakers to be stronger allies to the LGBTQ+ community.

Activists and organizers focused particularly on schools, asking lawmakers to pass policies to make sure trans kids are not discriminated against. They said this is a response to policies across the country which they call an attack on the trans community, including bans on medical care.

The trans community and their allies said it is important to stand up and fight for their rights.

“I will help fight for equality,” said transgender teen Ollie Wenditz.

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Wenditz said it is important to him to share his experience, and he did just that at the rally, talking about his experience with harassment.

“Transgender people are people. We are human, we should not have to deal with this,” Wenditz said. “I am a child. I just happen to be trans.”

Wenditz is an eighth grader in the Hempfield School District. In 2022, the district implemented a policy requiring students to play on sports teams based on their gender assigned at birth.

“It’s upsetting that it feels like they do not see us as humans,” Wenditz said.

Policies like that are why organizers planned this rally.

“We’re out here today to share messages of love and acceptance and affirmation,” co-founder of PA Coalition for Trans Youth Daye Pope said.

Organizers like Pope say trans kids are under attack, particularly in schools.

“Some folks have tried to bring don’t say gay bills, trans youth sports bans, and all kinds of nasty legislation,” Pope said, including in Pennsylvania.

Activists are calling on Pennsylvania lawmakers to reject those policies and instead pass legislation to protect trans youth from discrimination.

“Schools should be for learning, not for discrimination,” Pope said.

abc27 reached out to sponsors of the bills activists spoke out against at the rally for comment, including Rep. Barbara Gleim and Rep. Stephanie Borowicz, but did not receive a response.