On Thurs., March 31 dozens of community members gathered at the Pride flag in Hillcrest to celebrate International Transgender Day of Visibility. The annual holiday celebrates the contributions of trans people to society and raises awareness of discrimination that trans people face.
While nationally many state legislatures have passed laws limiting trans people from participating in public life and barring trans youth from accessing life-saving healthcare, the speakers at the San Diego event focused on local issues. In particular, there were multiple calls to limit medical gatekeeping that make gender-affirming treatments such as hormones and surgeries difficult to access. For instance, a cisgender person seeking cosmetic surgery for breast augmentation may need only a referral whereas a transgender person seeking the same surgery will need letters in support of their decision from therapists and doctors.
A few representatives from the offices of local elected leaders attended but the majority of the audience was filled with trans people themselves. As a special guest, a surgeon from San Francisco who had performed over 3,000 vaginoplasties.
A color guard lowered the rainbow flag on Normal St. and replaced it with the pink, blue and white stripes of the trans flag. The flag will bring awareness of the trans community to any passerbys.