Christopher Street West (CSW), the non-profit producers of the LA Pride celebration each June, is launching a series of programs to focus on the transgender community.
CSW announced today that the programs, which will be branded “LA Pride: The TLGB Celebration,” will include transgender educational experiences like the transgender diversity trainings led by the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center’s Transgender Economic Empowerment Project. The LA Pride Transgender Coalition is talking with the Los Angeles chapter of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association about co-hosting a “Transgender Stories and Terminology in the Media” event and a “Transgender History Tour” of the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives.
“This year, Christopher Street West decided to make a bold statement about our commitment to education by leading with a capital T,” said Steve Ganzell, board co-president of CSW. “When you see the hate and ignorance directed towards the transgender community, sometimes even from within our own community, we felt compelled to use LA Pride as a platform to highlight issues surrounding the community as well as taking the opportunity to celebrate our transgender family.”
“Our goal for the initiative is to be a resource to give the transgender community a larger platform and a louder voice. Our intention is not to re-invent the wheel or replicate work that is already being done. Nor are we urging other organizations to change their acronym. Instead, we hope to help identify areas where we can bring more trans* visibility before and at LA Pride,” said Patti DiLuigi, board co-president of CSW.
Jaye Johnson, LA Pride Transgender Coalition member and president of Alpha Omega Nu, the NuMan Transgender Support Network and the Trans Wellness and Wellbeing Conference, said that CSW also will offer diversity workshops to CSW board members, staff members, consultants and volunteers, and to all LA Pride exhibitors, sponsors and organizations participating in the parade and/or festival.
The transgender coalition includes a range of people, including trans students, community leaders, organizations and allies. This year’s LA Pride parade will take place on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood and the annual Pride festival will be held in West Hollywood Park June 6 to 8.
At noon on June 8, CSW and the Coalition will halt the Pride parade for a “silent celebration” dedicated to members of the transgender community who have been victims of hate crimes. CSW and the Coalition also will host “TranStation,” which seeks to offer a safe environment for education and camaraderie within the festival.