The first annual Transgender Day of Empowerment took place in 2004 at the San Diego LGBTQ Center and 19 years later planning has begun for 2023’s celebration. A Day where the Transgender community and their allies pause to celebrate and reflect on how far the Trans community has come. We had the honor to be invited to the organizing committee meeting on a Thursday evening at the San Diego Pride Office. This is where the committee hashed out issues such as which keynote speakers and entertainment to choose for the evening and where they would make other important decisions like having cake or peach cobbler (a very important decision in our book). We were delighted to hear the members not only organize the event, but also organize two fundraisers that will be held in March leading up to the big celebration. Transgender Day of Empowerment will take place Friday April 7 at 6 PM at the Center. This year’s theme is “Our Life, Our Future”. A theme that speaks to the committee’s desire to uplift the Trans youth and honor the Trans elders in the community.
One way the day uplifts the youth is by presenting this year’s Tracie Jada O’Brien Transgender Student Scholarship Fund recipients. The scholarship helps Transgender and/or Non-Binary San Diego County students starting or continuing education at a 2-year or 4-year collage, technical school, graduate program or vocational training program.
This year’s keynote speaker honor will be bestowed to San Diego elder Connor Maddocks, and that’s great to see a Trans Male elder be giving the opportunity to enlighten us all (more on him here). Other speakers are set to be announced along with special entertainment. Part of the festivities include the presentation of awards, and you can help to nominate folks that you think should be honored in the Transgender and Non-Binary community. Applications due March 31st at bit.ly/tdoe23
Nominations are live now until March 16 and the categories are:
Community Service Award:
A Trans and/or Gender Nonbinary (GNB) person that has made a significant contribution to the well being of the San Diego Trans/GNB community
Satin Styles Youth Award:
an award for a Trans/GNB teen, up to 24 that had made significant contribution to the Trans community or did something noteworthy
Building Bridges Award:
a person or organization that has exhibited extraordinary support for the Trans community
Nominations can be made at bit.ly/tdoe23awardnom
Apart from Celebrating the accomplishments and individuals the event is a great opportunity to get connected with organizations and resources. One of these organizations is the UC San Diego Gender Health Program and we had the pleasure of talking with Rai Khamisa, the program’s coordinator (you can read that Q&A here).
With the help of community organizations like the Center, San Diego Pride and Stepping Stones, to name a few, the day is gearing up to be a grand celebration. You can do your part by donating and attending any of the fundraisers set for this month at Redwing and The Dojo Cafe (Day and Time to be announce so be in the look out).
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