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Trans Town Hall Takeover: Gottmik, Love Bailey, & Texas Isaiah Pack the Renberg Theatre 

Trans Town Hall - Trans Pride 2024

Trans Pride LA celebrated its 25th anniversary this year, making it one of the oldest Pride events uplifting the trans, gender nonconforming, and intersex community in the U.S. This year’s festivities included the second annual Trans Town Hall at the Renberg Theatre, featuring a star-studded lineup of speakers including RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars (Season 9) contestant Gottmik, artist and activist Love Bailey, and more.

The entire evening was hosted by Sydney Rogers, a.k.a Miss Barbie-Q, program manager of the Center’s Transgender Economic Empowerment Project (TEEP).

“I think trans people are the most magical people in the world,” Gottmik said during the evening’s keynote conversation with journalist and podcaster Tre’Vell Anderson. “I think we literally, from day one, fight just to be us—just to start from ground zero, basically. … So we end up being the dopest people in the room. Trans people should be the leaders of everything, if you ask me.”

Trans Town Hall - Trans Pride 2024
Photo by Jordan Doyel

Love Bailey, who successfully advocated against anti-LGBTQ+ policies in the conservative town of Temecula, CA, was presented with the Community Hero Award. She sat down for a conversation with journalist Kaleef Starks covering her activism and the queer “sanctuary” she created for her community in Temecula, Savage Ranch.

“Nina Simone said it best: Artists’ duties are to reflect the times,” said Bailey. “If we’re given this privilege and this platform and we don’t advocate for change against the oppressor, What are you doing with your life? What are you doing with your existence?”

Texas Isaiah, a celebrated photographer known for his intimate portraits of Black and transgender people, was honored with the Visionary Award and participated in a Q&A with his partner, Reu Balenciaga. The duo spoke about how he empowers trans and nonbinary people through photography, capturing moments of rest, passion, and love.

Texas Isaiah and Reu Balenciaga Trans Pride LA 2024
Photo by Max Hemphill

“Photography—although historically it has been a tool of violence—I think that it is also a space for us to curate self-actualization within our beauty and within how we exist in the everyday,” he said. “Because we are the first ones to wake up to ourselves, and I’m a firm believer that the most important person to tell oneself that they are beautiful has to be you.”

In addition to the Trans Town Hall, this year’s TPLA celebrations included a welcome mixer; a line-dancing lesson by Stud Country instructors; and the Saturday’s Trans Pride Festival, featuring 40+ market vendors, portrait studio by photographer Devyn Galindo, a Trans Pride Talent Showcase, and more. More than 1,500 Angelenos joined TPLA across both days of programming.

Trans Town Hall - Trans Pride 2024
Photo by Jordan Doyel
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