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St. Mark's Cathedral sends message about trans lives during Pride month

 A light projection on St. Mark's Cathedral on Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood during Pride month.
St. Mark's Cathedral
A light projection at St. Mark's Cathedral on Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood during Pride month.

For the third year in a row, St. Mark’s Cathedral, an Episcopal church on Seattle’s Capitol Hill, is partnering with the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington on a light projection that displays a particular message. This time the communication is about trans lives.

During Pride month, St. Mark’s Cathedral has decided to project the messages "Protect Trans Lives" and "Protect Trans Kids." The words can be seen from I-5, Queen Anne and various other neighborhoods.

The Very Rev. Steven Thomason said the communication comes at a critical time.

"We are living in a time when there is hyperpolarization of our society and aggressive, even violent actions, taken against our transgender siblings," Thomason said.

Cathedral staff said they’ve received mostly positive feedback since the display went up on the west facade of the church building.

Previously, St. Mark’s partnered with the ACLU to display other messages. Last year, after housing an undocumented immigrant at risk of deportation, the church projected "Families Belong Together." Before that, it projected the names of people killed by police, beginning with George Floyd.

Ritee Sponsler, the community relations director at the ACLU of Washington, said this year's message is meant to help combat the onslaught of anti-trans legislation around the country.

"Unfortunately, the situation that folks are facing right now with, you know, nearly 500, anti-trans, homophobic bills going through the legislature … This seemed like a better time than any to do something extra," Sponsler said in a recent interview.

The ACLU of Washington recently helped advocate for a bill meant to ensure courts and law enforcement don’t cooperate with out-of-state investigations and lawsuits relating to reproductive and gender affirming care. The nonprofit also supported a law that protects medical professionals who provide that care.

Lilly Ana Fowler covers social justice issues investigating inequality with an emphasis on labor and immigration. Story tips can be sent to