Many turned out on Friday to celebrate the Second Annual Trans* Pride at Balboa Park.
This year’s Pride events are especially significant for the transgender community, as the community is being honored as the grand marshal of the San Diego Pride Parade.
The transgender community has much to celebrate this year, as the media attention of Caitlyn Jenner has brought the topic to the center stage.
“More people are coming out and coming to terms and realization that, ‘Hey, this is who I am. And look at the person that’s sort of who I am and what I am about,’” said Lisanicole Sarkisian of Trans* Pride San Diego. “Now they have a willingness in the community to come out and show themselves.”
Friday’s Trans* Pride was intended to raise awareness of therapy and counseling services as well as offering an open mic time for those struggling with gender identity.
An estimated 300 to 400 transgender people live in San Diego and about 80 transgender youth are here.
Clinical social worker Sue Boyd told NBC 7 that despite the current media attention to transgender individuals, the suicide rates among them are high, ranging from 30 to 50 percent.
In addition, the transgender community suffers from high rates of murder, self-harm and substance abuse, experts say.
She has an organization that offers assistance for those wanting hormone supplements, surgery and the overall transition.
Boyd said there are ways anyone can get help.
“If someone says, ‘Hi, my name is Sam and my pronouns are he and him,’ then you would use those pronouns and if you’re unsure then it’s OK to ask,” she said.