How and where to celebrate Transgender Day of Visibility in SoCal – Orange County Register

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Transgender people and allies across Southern California will celebrate Transgender Day of Visibility this weekend, a time when trans, nonbinary and gender nonconforming people around the world can embrace their visibility and share their experiences.

Technically, the annual day falls on March 31, but because this year that also is Easter Sunday many Transgender Day of Visibility events will be observed Saturday, March 30.

Transgender people are those whose gender identity doesn’t align with the sex to which they were assigned at birth. It is also sometimes seen within the LGBTQ+ community as an umbrella term for other identities, such as nonbinary, gender nonconforming, agender and genderqueer.

Los Angeles resident Jacqueline Hughes plans to celebrate this weekend by doing her makeup so that she looks “real fierce,” and listening to the late trans musician and producer Sophie.

Hughes, a 27-year-old trans woman and a musician, believes Transgender Day of Visibility is important because the LGBTQ+ community is facing “this looming attempt at erasure through fear mongering and forceful legislature.”

“Seeing other trans people throughout art, culture, politics and protest is important to facilitate that feeling of not being so alone,” Hughes said.  “It’s being able to believe you, too, can accomplish and not be hindered by the fear of not being accepted. It’s to shed light on our struggles to those who may not understand.”

Aydian Dowling, 36, a trans man and co-founder of a nonprofit, wishes there was more visibility for trans, nonbinary and gender nonconforming people year round.

“I prefer to highlight trans people all the time. But I think it’s a day that provides a sense of empowerment for our community,” Dowling said. “There are a lot of people who don’t feel safe, or are in environments where they can’t be visible, so I think (Transgender Day of Visibility) provides an outlet for those individuals to realize that there is a life in which you can be a visible, out-and-proud trans, nonbinary person and share your story and feel supported.”

Dowling’s nonprofit, Point of Pride, offers gender-affirming care, such as chest binders, hormone replacement therapy, gender-affirming surgeries and laser hair removal, for members of the transgender community.

Dowling came out as trans in 2009, the first year Transgender Day of Visibility was celebrated. At that time, he said, the focus for many was to blend in with the broader world of cisgender (people who identify with the sex they were assigned at birth) people, rather than acknowledging or identifying as transgender. This often is described as “going stealth.”

“That never felt like who I was,” he said. “I was trans, and I was proud of that, and I didn’t want to hide that from anybody. I shared my story on YouTube and was able to use social media to encourage others to feel good about themselves.”

Dowling hopes allies will take the day to educate themselves about trans issues, and listen to people within the community.

“So often the stories of trans people are told by non-trans people,” he said. “Trans Visibility Day (sic) is a day where we can really allow those people to tell their stories, and for our allies to be reminded that they should hear a little bit from trans people about their own experiences.”

Anaheim resident Toni Collard, 28, is nonbinary and a trans therapist, often counseling younger people who are working through their gender identity or how to express it.

“Trans clients are in such a delicate state because they’re usually newly coming out, don’t have the adequate support, or are scared that they won’t get the support that they need,” Collard, 28, said. “So it’s really important to prioritize their care because they really are just looking for a safe place to just say ‘This is who I am. Do you see me?’”

Collard plans to celebrate this year’s Trans Day of Visibility by working a booth at a March 30 event in Santa Ana, and attending a Long Beach event later that night.

Collard said they appreciate that trans people can express who they are, have pride in their identities and connect with other trans people and allies.

“As a minority, it’s important for other people to know that we’re just as human as everybody else,” Collard said. “We all have our differences. We all have different parts of us that make us a little bit different. But at the end of the day, we’re all human and just want to be celebrated and seen as human, just like anybody else.”

Inland Empire 

Riverside Pride is hosting a rally and march at City Hall on Saturday, March 30 at 1 p.m. City Hall is located at 3900 Main St. The march is a half mile and will end at the Civil Rights Institute, 3933 Mission Inn Ave., Suite 103.

Following this, there will be a celebration of trans joy at the Transgender Health and Wellness Center, Suite 102, starting at 2 p.m. The celebration will include music, speakers, food and entertainment.

Orange County

The LGBTQ Center of Orange County hopes to shine a light on trans, nonbinary and gender nonconforming residents with their event, “Illuminate Identity” on Saturday, March 30 in downtown Santa Ana from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Center representatives said they want to celebrate more than just a “gloomy narrative that has been pushed from media representation” and instead, celebrate “our local, radiant community” at the Frida Cinema, near the intersection of Center and Fourth streets.

Los Angeles County

An activist event and protest, “Trans Day of Vengence” will be held at the Hollywood and Highland Metro station on Sunday, March 31, starting at 3 p.m. A march will occur at 7 p.m. as well.

Long Beach, coastal cities

On Saturday, March 30, the Long Beach LGBTQ Center is celebrating with speakers, music, mariachi, drag performances, a resource fair and free vaccinations and HIV and STI testing at Bixby Park. The event will run from 4-8 p.m., at 130 Cherry Ave.

An Oceanside event hosted by North County LGBTQ Resource Center was rescheduled to Saturday, April 6. The celebration will take place at Heritage Park, 220 Peyri Dr. from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will feature live music, speakers, games, activities and a catered lunch.

Virtual

Point of Pride is hosting a third annual TikTok-a-thon fundraising for trans health services they provide. Trans Tiktok influencers Jory and Mercury Stardust, who have a combined five million followers, will host a virtual livestream starting Friday, March 29 and ending on Trans Day of Visibility.

Guest appearances, games and entertainment will be featured to raise funds. This year, the organization hopes to raise $4 million for trans health, which would double last year’s goal. All are welcome to watch and participate in the livestream.



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