A bomb threat led to an early end for the annual Trans Pride L.A. festival at the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Village location in Hollywood on Saturday.
Trans Pride L.A. shared this information via its Facebook page:
We at Trans Pride L.A. regret the situation that abruptly ended yesterday’s event, shortly before it was scheduled to conclude.
The Los Angeles Police Department notified us that an anonymous person called in a bomb threat, identifying the Renberg Theatre as the target. It was our second bomb threat of the day, the first of which just referenced Trans Pride. After the first threat, police and security immediately conducted a sweep of The Village and found no reason for concern. The second threat came later in the evening, at a time when close to 200 people were in the theatre enjoying the Los Angeles Transgender Film Festival’s short film program. Out of an abundance of caution and with input from the LAPD, we made the decision to evacuate the theatre. Fortunately, a subsequent security sweep determined there was no explosive device.
Our apologies to the filmmakers and everyone else inconvenienced by someone’s hateful and disruptive actions. We truly regret that this put a damper on an otherwise glorious day of joy and celebration. It saddens us greatly that the day had to end on a negative note.
Our sincere thanks to all who participated in Trans Pride L.A. 2014 and again we apologize for any inconvenience.
With love and PRIDE,
The Trans Pride L.A. Organizing Team
Unfortunately, violence and the threat of violence are pervasive for transgender people, who are disproportionately targeted in hate crimes. Each year, Transgender Day of Remembrance events are held in many cities, including West Hollywood, to honor lives lost to hate violence.
Violence against trans people is one of the issues that Steve Ganzell, co-president of Christopher Street West, said that the organization wanted to spotlight at this year’s LA Pride, which took place June 6-8 in West Hollywood and was promoted as a “TLGB” celebration.
L.A. Pride weekend, too, was tinged with anti-trans violence. Trans comic Rye Silverman was attacked at a Los Angeles metro station while on her way to a Pride weekend event. Her attacker later told a Funny or Die video crew, which interviewed him at the intersection of San Vicente and Santa Monica, that he attacked Silverman because she was wearing a skirt. He then went on to rail against gay men and to say he intended to pick up women who were in WeHo to take part in Pride.
It’s clear that a heightened public awareness of the trans community doesn’t mean that anti-trans sentiment has subsided. And not all of that sentiment comes from outside the queer community. During Pride weekend, one representative from St. John’s Well Child & Family Center, which was promoting its new trans health program, told WEHOville.com that a gay man had come into the Pride festival’s “TranStation” area to rail against trans people.
In the spirit of full disclosure, WEHOville contributing editor Stevie St. John was a member of the CSW Transgender Coalition, a volunteer group that includes trans leaders, students and allies. She was also formerly a staff member at the Los Angeles LGBT Center.