San Diego’s transgender community raised its visibility at this year’s local Pride celebration with a special section located on the festival grounds. At TransPrideVillage, local organizations spotlighted Health, Family issues, Employment, and Community Development.
Family Health Centers of San Diego offered materials about their Transgender Patient Advocacy Program. Health Center Advocates help patients find trans-competent providers. In addition, the center offers mental health services and monitored hormone therapy, as well as referrals for gender affirming surgeries. The program offers sliding scale payments for those with limited funds. (www.TransHealthSD.org )
Transfamily Support Services provided information on services including family coaching, support with the school system, and help with navigating healthcare, insurance, and legal systems. (www.transfamilysos.org )
TransCanWork focused on the crucial issue of employment. The organization does skill assessments, evaluates career goals, arranges appropriate training as needed, and does job placements. For employers, the organization does competency training, serves as consultants, offers e-learning programs, and connects employers to trans applicants. There is a direct relationship between employment and social justice. More transpeople in the workplace means more visibility, and more opportunities to remove the stigma, educate the public, and normalize the community. In addition, transpeople who have stable and well paying jobs have more disposable income, which they can potentially reinvest in the community. This pioneering and ambitious organization is based in Los Angeles, and can be found online at www.TransCanWork.org.
The San Diego LGBT Center serves the local community with services for those coming out, transmilitary, nonbinary identity and exploration, Spanish speakers, transmen, transwomen, Significant Others-Friends-Family-Allies. They also help sponsor the yearly Trans Day of Empowerment and Trans Day of Remembrance events. https://thecentersd.org/programs/transgender-services/
Neutral Corner, San Diego’s longest serving transgender support organization, focuses on developing community. They provide support through monthly meetings, education through their website, and charity through fundraising for scholarships for deserving transyouth.
Like many Pride events around the country, there was commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall revolt where gay, lesbian and transgender citizens fought police harassment. Posters of transactivists Marsha P Johnson and Silvia Rivera adorned the trans village site.
Transyouth were also out in force. In an earlier time, their lives would have been ones of bullying, ostracism, the closet, self-harm, and suicide. But at SD Pride, it was encouraging to see transboys and transgirls wearing t-shirts proclaiming their identity, walking hand in hand with boyfriends or girlfriends, making new friends, finding information about community organizations and resources, and just celebrating being who they are. However, there is always more work needed to protect and promote the communities most vulnerable members.
It was a MardiGrasesque atmosphere of drag queens, transmen and transwomen, nonbinaries, nonconformers, leatherpeople, crossdressers, and genderqueers. As one participant’s t-shirt put it: My Pronouns Haven’t been Invented Yet.