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Trans* Pride Los Angeles (https://transpride.lalgbtcenter.org) is an annual event that celebrates the diversity and strength of the TGI/ENBY+ community. It is always a joy and privilege to attend this exuberant and colorful event that promotes a world of equality, equity, love, and self-acceptance. Trans* Pride is made possible due to the efforts of Trans Lounge, an organization that provides community resources and engagement for the TGI/ENBY+ community.

This year, even more than before, due to the two-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was a reason for celebration and togetherness. The atmosphere was one of positive energy and solidarity, and I instantly felt a connection with everyone there.

Trans Pride L.A. 2022 was an event that celebrated the past and praised the activists who helped the community take gargantuan steps toward equality. It was also an event meant to help the community look forward to a more inclusive future.

Trans Pride Los Angeles – The Background

Trans Pride Los Angeles is held every year in June. The event is a celebration of trans people and their allies, and it is an important time for the trans community to come together and show strength in numbers. Trans Pride Los Angeles is a safe space for trans people to be themselves and celebrate their identities.

The Background

The first Trans Pride Los Angeles took place in 2010. The event was created to celebrate trans visibility and pride, and to bring the trans community together. Trans Pride L.A. has grown every year since and is now one of the most significant trans pride events in the world. It attracts trans people and allies from all over Southern California and aims to promote trans visibility and advocate for trans rights.

Trans Pride L.A. festival is, above all, a celebration of trans culture. The festival features trans-themed art, music, performances, panels, and educational resources. It is the ideal space for trans people to express themselves and have fun while raising visibility for the issues faced by trans people.

Three Days of Events, Discussions, and Joy

This year, Trans Pride L.A. took place on June 16 – 18. Every year, the event is hosted by the Los Angeles LGBT Center which promotes trans rights, encourages discussions about the issues the community is facing on a day-to-day basis and reaches out to help trans people from all backgrounds.

art gallery

June 16 – The First Day of Trans Pride L.A.

Trans Pride L.A. was supposed to open with a job fair put together by the Center’s Transgender Economic Empowerment Project, but unfortunately, it was canceled. The next TEEP TGI/ENBY+ Job Fair will take place on Wednesday, September 14, 2022, 9:30 am – 2 pm.

Trans Pride L.A. opened with a panel hosted by Club Intersex, a community-run support group dedicated to intersex people. Club Intersex serves as a home for intersex people who want to explore what intersex identity means and discover the multi-faceted intersex community.

The discussion took place online under the name “From Invisible to Inclusion – An Intersectional Discussion on Intersex Experiences & Issues.”. A safe space for everyone interested in the topic, the panel aimed to allow members of the community to share their stories and journeys, as well as approach topics around issues that intersex adults face every day.

First Day of Trans Pride L.A

June 17 – The Second Day of Trans Pride L.A.

The second day continued the tradition of the Trans Pride L.A. as a host of the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s community forum series, Big Queer Convo. This year’s special guest was Latine/x non-binary/gender fluid actor and activist Vico Ortiz (they/them/elle), who was interviewed by actor Shaan Dasani (he/they). The discussion took place in person and was streamed online, allowing many participants to listen to discover contemporary topics through the lens of the past.

The second half of the day was dedicated to the opening of the SYZYGY gallery, home to an extravaganza of artworks from Cade Moga, D Hill, Emily Lucid, and Yozmit. The works of art were an explosion of color and meaningfulness and approached topics such as the inter-dimensional self, self-love, and the facets of being transgender. The evening ended with an in-person dance party hosted by Shane Ivan Nash (he/him).

Second Day of Trans Pride L.A

June 18 – The Third Day of Trans Pride L.A.

The third day started with a resource fair and festival meant to bring communities together and interconnect resources. The fair provided free food and drinks throughout the day, the atmosphere was exuberant and light, and the conversation flowed. I felt wrapped in the community spirit and enjoyed ample conversations about a cornucopia of topics on TGI/ENBY+ victories and needs.

Furthermore, I had the privilege to attend an impressive art exhibit and visit several rooms showing short films and hosting talkbacks. One of the highlights of the day was the event organized on the roof of the Center where participants made flower crowns with Classroom of Compassion in honor of trans icon Marsha P. Johnson. The event celebrated trans pride history and was a tribute to the community to engage in self-care.

The Village Courtyard became the scene of karaoke singing while @Moniquee.b read oracle cards, and Harmony (he/they) of TheyThem Friends taught self-defense lessons.

The day ended with a Happy Hour event presented by Tito’s Handmade Vodka and The VarieTy Show that allowed the stars of the Trans galaxy to parade their talents in person at the Renberg Theater. The show was hosted by Abdullah Hall and was streamed on the homepage of the Los Angeles LGBT Center.

Third Day of Trans Pride L.A

Looking forward to my next Trans Pride L.A. event!

All in all, it was a spectacular event that lifted our spirits and gave voice to a community represented by passionate advocates. I was so happy to see spirited, funny, proud trans people eager to connect and share their stories and determined to form a united front against prejudice and abuse.

It was an event made with love, out of love, founded on an ocean of positivism, hope, and ambition. Trans Pride L.A. 2022 was the perfect setting for witty and uplifting talks with members of the community and other therapists.

Events like this are the perfect background to move things forward for the trans community, brainstorm ideas, and come up with new strategies to promote its interests and familiarize the large public with trans rights, aspirations, and dreams.

From advocating for trans rights to providing resources and visibility, Trans Pride L.A. has been a vital force in the trans community. As we look towards the future, the event will continue to be a powerful voice for the community and a safe space for trans people to share experiences, learn more about each other, and grow, both as individuals and as members of the community.

We hope you’ll join our mission to promote self-care, self-acceptance, and self-love and stand with the trans community in their journey towards a world of inclusivity, equality, and, above all, love.

LGBTQ Pride Parade, also known as Gay Pride parades, events, and festivals take over the United States during the month of June. Colorful floats, participants, and a plethora of fun activities and workshops accompany what we know now as the Gay Pride Month, LGBT Pride Month, or simply, the Pride Month. The weekends of June are now filled with color, music, dance, and celebrations of everything in this community.

June is the month when the LGBT community is more visible than ever. It is the month when they remind the world that everyone is entitled to their rights, freedom, and kindness. But why do lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans need the celebrations? Why do tens of thousands gather to celebrate their sexuality and gender identity and stand in front of the world as they are? Why do they need to be present on the streets every June?

It all started with Stonewall Uprising

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, homosexuality, “masquerading” as a member of the opposite sex, and other expressions of gender nonconformity were considered a crime in the United States. Being a member of the LGBT community and going to a bar or restaurant could easily lead to arrest for “disorderly conduct.” Being gay was listed as a mental health disorder in the DSM in 1952 and President Dwight Eisenhower banned “sexual perversion”, also known as being gay, from federal jobs. The police constantly abused gay, lesbian, and trans* individuals and not many people were advocating for this marginalized community.

Trans Activists Marsha Johnson and Sylvia Rivera

THE EVERETT COLLECTION; AP IMAGES

At the time, New York refused to provide licenses to bars that served members of the LGBTQ community. It all changed on June 28, 1969, when the police raided the gay club Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York, and arrested the patrons. They were cuffed and forced to wait outside the bar handcuffed. The crowd in front of the bar started to grow and, eventually, it sparked a revolt. Thousands of people gathered to stand with the owners of the bar, which was an important LGBT institution, and express their solidarity with the LGBT community. The protests lasted for six days, and the LGBT community was no longer silent. The movement had to be louder and more visible for everyone to understand they deserved the same rights and respect as any other member of the community.

Many in the LGBTQ community believe that the spark that changed it all was transgender activist Marsha P. Johnson, who is thought to have thrown the first brick or shot glass. Regardless if this is true or not, Marsha played an important role in the change that was about to happen. The same can be said about Sylvia Rivera, a Latinx transgender pioneer. Even though many years have passed since then, the LGBTQ wants to name those who fought for their rights at Stonewall and acknowledge the importance of trans women of color to the movement.

Stonewall was the tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. People from major cities started rallying with the movement. Publications were created to support gay rights, activists took over the streets, and the gay community decided to have a voice. This was the beginning of a movement meant to outlaw discriminatory laws and practices against the LGBT community.

lgbtq flags

The first Gay Pride parade

Five months after the Stonewall rally in New York, activists Craig Rodwell, Fred Sargeant, Ellen Brody, and Linda Rhodes came up with the idea of organizing a march in New York to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the uprising. The proposal was made to the Eastern Regional Conference of Homophile Organizations (ERCHO) and included an essential aspect: the march was to be held with “no dress or age regulations.”

The march was approved, and the Christopher Street Liberation Day Umbrella Committee planned it. The people involved in the planning met in Craig Rodwell’s apartment and bookstore and used the bookstore’s mailing list to spread the word. The initial slogan of the march was “gay power.” However, L. Craig Schoonmaker, a member of the committee, thought that gay individuals may lack real power to make a change, but they do have pride.

This is how the “gay pride” movement came to life. On June 28, 1970, celebrating the first anniversary of the Stonewall riots, the first gay pride procession in the U.S. made history on the streets of New York. It was also known as the Christopher Street Liberation Day march after the street where the procession originated and turned into one week-long celebration of freedom for the LGBT community. New York wasn’t alone in the fight against discrimination and abuse against the LGBTQ community. Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco joined the celebration, and Gay Pride or Gay Freedom parades enlivened their streets too, and gave a voice to the movement.

month of Pride

June, the month of Gay Pride

And so, June became Pride Month. Although it has been celebrated for more than 50 years, President Bill Clinton officially declared June as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month in 2000. Eleven years later, in 2011, President Barack Obama named it the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.

Pride Month is a month of celebration and awareness. The parades, the picnics, the workshops, and the concerts are all a joyous opportunity to get together and praise the people who had the courage to stand up and fight for equality and freedom. They are an occasion for the LGBT community to feel proud and walk tall.

However, Pride Month is not only about feasts and rainbows. It’s also about remembering those who have made this possible through hard work, dedication, and commitment to the cause, and those who have lost their lives to hate crimes, mental health, substance use, homelessness, housing insecurities, food insecurities, or HIV/AIDS.

Every Gay Pride event celebrates the past but looks into the future, a future with no discrimination, violence, and hate towards the community. Pride celebrations and community events are organized to serve as a reminder that the LGBT community is just as “normal” as the rest of us, and no one should be marginalized because of their sexuality or gender identity.

LGBTQ community

Let the parades fill the streets

Many feel that not much would have changed if political activism and the gay rights movement hadn’t gotten louder and stronger. Attitudes toward the LGBTQ community may have continued to stay the same, and abuse and discrimination would have been accepted as the status quo. Often being silent is not an option for marginalized and ostracized communities, the Stonewall riot was proof that things were yearning to change.

But there is still so much work to be done. The celebration of pride has to extend beyond the month of June. The annual celebrations are also a reminder that there is still much to accomplish for the LGBT community. It’s true that same-sex marriage is now legal, but adoption rights vary from state to state. The community continues to be discriminated against at work and not given the work opportunities they deserve and, worst of all, parents continue to kick out kids who have the courage to come out.

Furthermore, more and more anti-LGBTQ legislation bills keep showing up on the legislators’ tables. This year alone, over 325 bills, of which 130 target transgender rights, have been put in motion by Republicans. Last year, 268 bills were introduced, and 27 became laws. In March, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis passed a bill that bans instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity. Known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, this piece of legislation has found its echo in states like Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, and Louisiana, and led to similar proposals.

 fill the streets

It seems that instead of going forward, some members of our society want to drag us back to the Dark Ages of the LGBTQ community. While activists struggle to earn new rights for the members of the community to help them live safe, healthy, and fulfilled lives, their already rightfully-earned rights are once again at risk. The discussion about the LGBTQ community and their rights needs to be kept open, and people have to be supportive of each other and show up for them.

Mental illness is plaguing the LGBT community, and the voices of those suffering are not loud enough for everyone to hear them. Mental health is a major concern for members of the community. They need to know they can talk about their fears, thoughts, and experiences in a safe environment. Therapists need to learn to be inclusive, and their community needs to embrace their uniqueness.

Awareness is vital for the health of the LGBT community and, consequently, for our society. And this is why the parades should keep filling the streets, and the rainbow flags should keep fluttering in the wind so that we all remember that unity and tolerance can save lives and change the world.

Up until our era of awakening, “vulnerability” was deemed an “ugly” word if not repulsive. Generations before us were taught to be strong, endure, and power through. You were not to talk about your emotions or show them in any way. You were to strive for perfection and settle for nothing less. You were to be the best at everything, or at least pretend to be. There was no other way if you wanted society to consider you worthy and successful.

Humanity has been blessed with such a complex spectrum of emotions. We have the ability to experience an astonishing palette of feelings. But we tend to push them away if they don’t have positive connotations. Vulnerability is often at the top of the list of emotions we reject simply because much of society has told us that it is not becoming to expose your emotions to the world and shed your emotional armory. Why should we expose our authentic selves to the world and risk being taken advantage of, ridiculed, or mocked? 

What is vulnerability?

There is no conversation about vulnerability without citing the work of Dr. Brené Brown and her talks and books about the power of vulnerability and the courage to break our vulnerability armor and embrace the entire palette of our emotions. 

Dr. Brené Brown has dedicated the last two decades of her life to studying vulnerability, courage, empathy, and shame. She defines vulnerability as “uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.” Vulnerability can take many shapes. It can be the feeling you get when you step out of your comfort zone, the rapid breathing you feel when you share your emotions, the pit drop in your stomach when you see someone you like, or the inability to speak when you become overly emotional.

vulnerability

All these feelings help make sense of why we may feel fearful to be vulnerable. However, they shouldn’t stop us from taking that leap into the healing abyss of our emotions. The rewards make all the sudden turns and twists of our inner journey worth it. Dr. Brené Brown mentions that “vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity.” Certainly, the chance to access all this is worth shedding perceived control and exposing our personal vulnerability.

A frozen nervous system, the inability to speak, and tense muscles are all physical manifestations of vulnerability. How can something that may interrupt our daily life be the path to leading a life of courage and emotional plenitude? How can vulnerability lead to a meaningful connection with people in our lives? How can vulnerability add balance to our mental health and allow us to get to know ourselves and bring light to our true needs?

What are the benefits of vulnerability?

If you look back on some of the most dramatic events in your life, you’ll notice that the times when you felt more vulnerable and dared to expose your emotions were the times when you showed the most courage. Furthermore, the times when you stepped out of your comfort zone – taking a new class, learning a new skill, discovering a new place – were also the times when you opened yourself to experience new emotions and grew as a person.

Vulnerability is indeed the “core of shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness” in the words of best-selling author Dr. Brené Brown, but when we become aware of the epidemic of shame that plagues our lives, stand up to fear, raise our voices to ask for what we deserve, say no when we need to, or admit that we are wrong, we start to reap the benefits of embracing vulnerability.

benefits of vulnerability

When our vulnerability armor comes down, and we dare to feel shame, uncertainty, anxiety, and fear, we can experience:

  • empathy and understanding
  • trust and intimacy in a relationship
  • increased self-worth
  • gratitude
  • creativity
  • personal awareness and accountability
  • personal growth
  • our accurate measure of courage

Vulnerability is the only way to get to know our authentic selves. It opens the path to growth and gives us the courage to fight the need to please others and focus on our well-being. Vulnerability helps us bring to light all our emotions and process them. It takes a lot of courage to stand in front of the world without your armor, but this is the only way toward authentic and meaningful connections with others.

Types of vulnerability

While vulnerability means the same thing in every circumstance, it does take different shapes depending on the environment where we manifest it. 

Vulnerability in relationships

Our relationships benefit the most from our exposed vulnerability. Many fear to reveal their true selves and needs out of shame or fear of rejection or judgment but it’s when you reveal yourself from beyond your shield of cynicism and fear that you get to establish an authentic and meaningful connection with the people in your life. Vulnerability is indeed the birthplace of joy and the one and true path to human connection.

So, have the difficult conversations, ask for what you need, and talk about your hopes and fears. You are both imperfect human beings empowered by your vulnerability. Be patient and take small steps. This cannot be achieved overnight and should not be achieved in a haste. Build that trust, cultivate closeness, and “choose courage over comfort.”

Vulnerability in relationships

Vulnerability in the workplace

The workplace might be considered the last place where you would show your emotions and be vulnerable. You have an image to build and a reputation to protect. However, many of us fall prey to doubts, incessant comparisons with our colleagues, or the imposter syndrome where we feel as if we are not worthy of all our achievements. Remember that self-doubt is paramount for growth. Accept it as part of who you are and work to improve your self-confidence. Ask for help when you need it. Vulnerability is often the foundation of excellent teamwork.

Leaders especially fear showing any crack in their vulnerability armor out of fear of losing the respect of their peers. However, visionary leadership is born out of courage, and courage stems from vulnerability. You can’t dissociate them and, honestly, you shouldn’t even try. Authentic leadership can only be the result of daring leaders who have embraced their vulnerability. Transformative leaders will never hide in their comfort zone. If your dream is to become a confident leader who practices true leadership, you need to be willing to experience shame and fear. 

Vulnerability in community

Too many generations have lost their true selves because they feared “what people are going to say.” Shame has crushed so many spirits and broken so many lives that it hurts just to think about it. Parents have taught their children to always look and act impeccably, and children have learned that only “positive” emotions are acceptable. We are now afraid to say no to other people just because they would think “bad things” about us or label us as selfish.

When you embrace your vulnerability, you allow yourself to invite only the people you want in your life. You give yourself permission to make the best decisions for yourself and your family and simply remove yourself from situations you are not comfortable with. You are empowered to set healthy boundaries and rearrange your priorities to better reflect your needs.

Vulnerability in community

How to embrace vulnerability?

The key to becoming comfortable with your own vulnerability is to let things fall apart and give up on this hurtful idea that we have to be in control at all times. The closer you get to your own vulnerability, the more your life is going to change. Vulnerability helps you improve your self-awareness and admit the fact that you don’t know everything and you shouldn’t in the first place. It frees you from the prison of perfection and validation and opens the way to accepting risk, uncertainty, and that dreaded feeling of being uncomfortable.

When you break down the walls around your comfort zone and step into the unknown, you get to explore, learn, and grow. You will see your relationships in a different light and start to understand the thought process behind your decisions. You learn to love with all your heart. What can be more beautiful than becoming a “wholehearted” being, as Dr. Brené Brown describes people who embrace their vulnerability and dare to love without conditions?

Find the courage to see beyond the myths of vulnerability. Understand that vulnerability is not weakness or a dispensable set of emotions. Vulnerability should not be used as a bargaining chip or confused with full disclosure. It shouldn’t be used recklessly but only manifested in front of the people who deserve our truth. Vulnerability creates a sense of belonging, the innate need we all have in our quest for happiness. It should be used as a foundation of our relationships and a way to create new connections.

Vulnerability gives us access to profound insights about ourselves. These transformative insights help us build self-esteem, combat anxiety and depression, reduce stress, and live fuller lives. Leading a meaningful life and having profound connections with other people can improve both our physical and mental health. Take the time to acknowledge your emotions without judgment, look for value in your life and relationships, and practice vulnerability every day. 

 

As many around the world are becoming aware of inclusiveness in our society, there is more awareness to be spread, especially when it comes to the importance of the International Transgender Day of Visibility.

This day in particular not only brings awareness to those who identify as transgender but is also an event that allows the world to hear the stories of transgender people who have dealt with significant challenges. These stories include instances of discrimination and violence against trans people.

If you or someone you know may be transgender, the International Transgender Day of Visibility is an important and significant day. While some may not be supportive of those in the LGBTQIA community, fortunately, many are.

Let’s discuss the International Transgender Day of Visibility further.

March 31 is International Transgender Day of Visibility

The first-ever International Transgender Day of Visibility was held in 2009. Since then, the event has taken place every March 31. This is a day of recognition of the achievements of the transgender community, as well as one of the annual events that bring awareness regarding the struggles transgender people face daily.

Transgender flag

It is also a time to celebrate those who identify as transgender or non-binary. Transgender folks and gender non-binary people should be included in all of society. Even today, members of the transgender community still face discrimination and stigma.

Thse individuals carry the burden of discrimination and stigma in multiple facets of life, from employment and education to housing opportunities and so on.  International Transgender Day of Visibility is a day where those in the LGBTQ community and cisgender allies encourage our government officials to pass legislation that will raise awareness around discrimination against trans people and protect the transgender community.

It’s also a time to remember those who lost their lives due to violence because of their identity as transgender individuals. Many of those victims are transgender women of color. Advocates from around the world are continuing to become the voice for those who continue to fight for equality for transgender and non-binary individuals.

Love conquers hate

Transgender people continue to face harassment and violence for their identity. It is important that society mobilizes to help these individuals lives without fear of discrimination and violence.

Unfortunately, the epidemic of violence against transgender people continues. We must do our part to make sure they are protected accordingly. It is also important that every transgender activist do their part to stop anti-transgender bills that are being discussed by state government officials.

transgender community

If you are transgender or know someone who is, remember that there are therapy services   available to help trans* and gender non-binary indivuals  Wile you may feel scared, alone, and ulovable, I want you know you matter.  You’ll find a compassionate, understanding, and nurturing therapist here. My aim is to help you embrace who you are and feel well cared for. 

A Proclamation on International Transgender Day of Visibility, 2021

On March 31, 2021, President Joe Biden officially declared March 31 as International Transgender Day of Visibility. The proclamation stated that it celebrates the achievements and resiliency of transgender individuals. It also stated the challenges that transgender individuals still face including harassment, discrimination, and even deadly violence.

The Biden-Harris Administration is advocating to stamp out discrimination and provide freedom and equality for all. It remains to be seen what kind of work will be done. Until then, it is important that we continue to speak in favor and advocate for the trans community. Trans people must and should be a part of society as citizens and nothing less than that. They need to be treated with dignity and respect.

Wear and Show Your Pride of the Trans* Community

Whether you are a member of the transgender community or an ally, it is important everyday but especially on March 31 that you show your pride and support of the trans* community.  Allies of the trans community must call their local legislation and advocate for the removal of anti-trans bills. They must also be vocal about their support of the trans community anywhere from their social circle to their work to their families.  The trans* community needs the cisgender communities support and advocacy.  

transgender couple

HRC Honors International Transgender Day of Visibility

Every year, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) honors the transgender community on the International Transgender Day of Visibility. The organization hosts an annual summit aimed at providing justice and advocacy for those in the transgender community.

Their goal is to ensure that no anti-transgender bills currently discussed across several states get passed. The HRC believes that these bills are not at the request of their constituents but rather used for political purposes to further an agenda of hate.

They are often created by government officials on the far right. Many people – including many supporters of former President Donald Trump – have voiced their disapproval for such legislation to be passed.

In about four states, such bills have been sent to their respective Governors. The fate of these bills is yet to be known. For the time being, many hope the executives make the right choice and reject the policies that would lead to further discrimination and pave the way for more invisibility in the transgender community.

transgender day

Final Thoughts

International Transgender Day of Visibility is a day where we celebrate the transgender community. It is also a time when we remember those who have lost their lives in senseless tragedies because of their identity. Take a moment to listen to the stories of the people in the transgender community.

You can do that every day of the year! You too can do your part to make sure transgender individuals live a life where they can be free of fear and enjoy the same rights as everyone else.