The City of West Hollywood and its Transgender Advisory Board recognized November as Transgender Awareness Month with a Trans Visibility Rally and March at West Hollywood Park and a march to commemorate Transgender Awareness Month in November. The Rally and National Trans Visibility March was held on Saturday, November 5, 2022 at 11 a.m.
The event kicked off with remarks from a lineup of national trans and nonbinary individuals gathered at the grand stairs of the Aquatics and Recreation Center. There were also musical performances throughout the event. The theme for this year was “Visibility and Action.”
Shane Ivan Nash, Chair of the Transgender Advisory Board of West Hollywood, thanked the board for their hard work in creating change in the city. “I’m so proud of this particular class of board members and to be a part of this class for the work that they have done,” he said. “Yo, we switched it from events to policy. We’re really making a difference out here.”
Nash pointed out the pride progress crosswalk down the street, the progress flags hanging on Santa Monica Boulevard, the lanterns changed to the trans colors and the various Transgender events as part of the board’s work in West Hollywood. He also thanked Mayor Pro Tem Sepi Shyne and council members Lindsey Horvath and John Erickson for their support in creating that change.
The Trans Visibility March began at West Hollywood Park and moved east on Santa Monica Boulevard to La Cienega Boulevard and back west to conclude at WeHo Park. West Hollywood Sheriff deputy vehicles escorted the marchers to keep them safe from moving traffic.
The City of West Hollywood also premiered the TransVagina Diaries, produced by the National Organization for Women, Hollywood Chapter, on Saturday, November 5, 2022. There will be a second performance tonight on Sunday, November 6, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. at the City’s Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. These two performances are free and open to the public. For more information and to RSVP, please visit Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-transvagina-diaries-world-premiere-2022-tickets-427431628507.
The City is also co-sponsoring community events hosted by two Trans-led organizations in Los Angeles. Other events during Transgender Awareness Month will include:
- The Unique Woman’s Coalition 25th Anniversary Gala will take place on Saturday, November 19, 2022 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., tickets can be purchased at https://www.theuwc.org. The Unique Woman’s Coalition (UWC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to being a collective voice centering on the narratives and needs of Black Trans culture.
- The TransLatin@Coalition’s GARRAS Fashion Show will take place on Saturday, November 19, 2022 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood. Tickets for the TransLatin@ Coalition’s GARRAS fashion show can be purchased at https://garras.org. The TransLatin@ Coalition is a non-profit organization that advocates for the specific needs of the TransLatin@ community that resides in the United States.
- The City will host an in person Transgender Day of Remembrance Ceremony on Sunday, November 20, 2022 at 6 p.m. at the City’s Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. The ceremony will feature speakers and a reading of names to memorialize people who have been murdered as a result of anti-transgender violence. Transgender Day of Remembrance is part of the City of West Hollywood’s annual recognition of Transgender Awareness Month, which is recognized throughout the nation each November. Transgender Day of Remembrance is an opportunity to look forward to the future and recommit to ending discrimination and transphobia by amplifying the visibility and voices of the transgender community. More information about this event can be found on the City’s calendar at www.weho.org/calendar. The City encourages every community stakeholder to honor the lives and memories of community members and to take the opportunity to reflect on the work that remains to be done.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) tracks annual statistics of violence against the people in the transgender community. In the latest statistics currently available, HRC has reported that in 2022 there have been at least 31 transgender or gender non-conforming people fatally shot or killed by other violent means in the United States. A disproportionately high number of victims are Black and Latinx transgender women. The 2022 report follows reports of 41 deaths in 2021; 33 deaths in 2020; 27 deaths in 2019; 26 deaths in 2018; 29 deaths in 2017; and 23 deaths in 2016. According to HRC: “it is clear that fatal violence disproportionately affects transgender women of color, and that the intersections of racism, sexism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and unchecked access to guns conspire to deprive them of employment, housing, healthcare, and other necessities, barriers that make them vulnerable.” This wave of violence has been declared an epidemic by the American Medical Association. Rates of actual violence or deaths may, in fact, be higher but anti-transgender violence can be difficult to accurately measure, as victims are sometimes misgendered in reports, which can delay awareness of deadly incidents.
As part of its support of the transgender community, the City of West Hollywood has a Transgender Resource Guide available on the City’s website at: https://www.weho.org/home/showdocument?id=11632
The guide provides information about a variety of resources including legal, health, and social services, available in the Greater Los Angeles area to enhance and improve the well-being of transgender people.