By Jules Shane
In the shadow of the San Diego County Administration building, a large crowd gathered to present a clear message — that enough is enough, and the community is not willing to let the transgender community be erased.
LGBT community members and allies came together on Oct. 27 for the Won’t Be Erased March and Rally to directly oppose legislation being deliberated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). If enacted, these DHHS regulations would claim that sex be legally defined as either female or male, unchangeable, and solely determinable by one’s genitals at birth. Further, it would force any dispute over one’s sex to be decided by genetic testing. Such legislation would be inconsistent with today’s understanding of sex and gender and pose drastic implications for LGBT Americans everywhere.
In response, marches and rallies across the nation were held to present the voices of transgender citizens and their allies in opposition to these perilous proposed regulations. In San Diego, the call went out on Facebook from a group of active community members, in association with the San Diego LGBT Community Center. Hundreds responded, taking their stand at Waterfront Park. From there, they marched up Cedar Street and turned on India Street, before stopping at the intersection of India and Date streets. The march paused in the heart of the Little Italy Farmers Market, with chants calling for transgender recognition and empowerment. Returning to the same spot it began, the rally continued at Waterfront Park with speakers discussing the importance of standing in solidarity as a community.
“The biggest mission is to let folks know that we see them,” said Heather Marino-Kibbee, an event organizer and a member of The Center. “There is no policy that can erase people that have always been here and will continue to be here. We’re not going anywhere.”
A trans teach-in was held the prior evening, on Oct. 26, with residents gathered at the Hillcrest Pride flag. They talked about current attacks on the LGBT community, including the recent vandalism of a University Heights church, which targeted a gay employee there.
To learn more about how you can get involved with your local LGBT community, go to thecentersd.org.
—Jules Shane can be reached at email@example.com.