At the Colorado State Services Building on Thursday morning, legislators hosted performers from Motus Theater for its “TRANSformative Stories” project, which features monologues by trans and nonbinary Coloradans.

“A central focus of our work is developing artfully crafted, autobiographical monologues, with people impacted by the injustice of the criminal legal system, the immigration system, or otherwise targeted by dehumanizing rhetoric and policies,” said Alexis Miles, a Board Member of Motus Theater.

This particular performance featured Dr. Morgan Seamont, Director of the University of Colorado Boulder’s Pride Office, and Ruby Lopez, a community advocate currently living in Denver. The event was sponsored by Out Boulder County.

The project has had multiple performances before, and more are planned for the near future. But this event was held in advance of Trans Day of Visibility, recognized every year on March 31. Many see the date as an opportunity to raise awareness not just for transgender people, but for the issues they face in their day-to-day lives. 


“We want to give people a little sense of what it is to be trans, the struggles of being trans, and who we are as people,” said state Rep. Brianna Titone (D-Arvada), who hosted the event, during her introductory speech.

Multiple other legislators joined to co-host the event; the full list included state Sen. Steve Fenberg (D-Boulder), Sen. Sonya Jaquez Lewis (D-Lafayette), Judy Amabile (D-Boulder), Kyle Brown (D-Louisville), Chad Clifford (D-Centennial), Elizabeth Epps (D-Denver), Lorena Garcia (D-Westminster), Leslie Herod (D-Denver), Junie Joseph (D-Boulder), Karen McCormick (D-Longmont), Jennifer Parenti (D-Longmont), Elizabeth Velasco (D-Glenwood Springs), and Stephanie Vigil (D-Colorado Springs).

In recent years, trans issues have been thrust into the forefront of U.S. political discourse. Many Republicans and conservative activists have smeared LGBTQ people, and trans people especially, as child predators, using them as a wedge issue to galvanize right-wing voters.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), within the first 3 months of 2024, nearly 500 bills targeting the LGBTQ community have been introduced in state legislatures across the country, with most of the bills specifically targeting trans people.

With Democratic majorities in both legislative houses, including a sizable LGBTQ caucus, advocates are not worried about such bills passing in Colorado. However, conservative activists have launched multiple ballot initiatives intended to put trans rights up to a vote in November.

The monologues touched on the hardships that come with being part of a community that is under political fire.


“Really, what makes people so afraid of a child being trans? Of a child you thought was a girl being a boy, of a child you assumed was a boy being a girl. Or a child saying, I don’t want to be either gender. Why can’t we just support our trans kids?” Seamont said. “Why are there hundreds of pieces of legislation across the country right, being presented right now against the recommendations of the American Medical Association, against the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and against the will of parents who are just trying to help their child choose life.”

But the performers focused more on the joy they find in life after coming into their identities as trans people: a journey with its fair share of twists and turns.


In her monologue, Lopez recounted that after finally coming out as a trans woman, she “moved to Washington, D.C., fell in love, fell out of love, paused my transition, got sober, moved to San Francisco, lived with Buddhist monks, moved back to Chicago, fell in and out of love again, resumed the transition, moved out to Boulder, came out to people all over again. Legally changed my name, had my first gender affirming surgery, became an advocate for trans people of color, had my second gender affirming surgery, moved to Denver and now, here I am.”

“People sometimes ask me if I was reborn, would I choose to be trans and go through the whole struggle again?” Seamont said. “The answer is yes. There are so many gifts.”

Following the performance, the legislators, performers, and members of the audience moved across the street to the state Capitol, where Motus Theater and Trans Day of Visibility would be recognized with an official proclamation from Reps. Titone and Joseph.

Legislators, monologists, and advocates pose for a photo at the Colorado Capitol building.

“We exist here. We are trying to our best to fill that role in society that makes a difference. We are teachers and doctors and lawyers,” Titone said from the well. “And legislators, occasionally. And we want to just be existing in our communities along with everyone else. We want to see people like us in places, and that’s what we had this morning. Motus shared some of the stories of the struggles that trans people have trying to be ourselves and how difficult it is.”

She concluded, “We’re not looking for any kind of special treatment, we’re looking to be treated just like everyone else. And that’s why this day is so important.”