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Our Lady J, Grey Crouch and Nik Kacy celebrate during L.A.’s Trans Pride event

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Grey Crouch, a genderqueer fashion model and activist, says, “Trans Pride presents a real and visible opportunity for our community to feel completely free to be ourselves.”
(Grey Crouch)

In a world where transgender people continue to face hate and discrimination, L.A.’s Trans Pride was welcomed with open arms by attendees and event panelists.

The two-day celebration for trans, genderqueer and nonbinary Angelenos and their supporters and friends was held at the new Anita May Rosenstein Campus of the Los Angeles LGBT Center in Hollywood and the center’s Village at Ed Gould Plaza last weekend.

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Our Lady J

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Our Lady J performs onstage.
(Gina Bigham)

Although Our Lady J is busy working on FX’s “Pose,” which was just renewed for Season 3, the much-loved musician-writer-producer was excited to be the surprise guest performer at Trans Pride. Organizers estimated that more than 2,000 people were on hand to participate in the L.A. event — one of the oldest and largest trans and nonbinary celebrations in the U.S.

“I am here to be with my community and unite in healing, in solidarity and in strength,” Our Lady J said during her piano rehearsal. “Despite the current political climate, trans people have gathered together in greater numbers than ever. The trans tipping point happened when Laverne Cox was on the cover of Time magazine. This meant there was no turning back, that we were out. We were going to fight, be vocal and reach equality. Every year that passes, more people come out to align with that.”

When she is not writing scripts in L.A. and shooting on location in New York on “Pose,” Our Lady J works tirelessly to bring awareness to the challenges that transgender people regularly endure. “Trans women of color are still being murdered, and no one is talking about it in the public realm — in politics,” she said.

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On this season on “Pose,” one of the many story arcs addresses the anger surrounding how expensive AZT, the drug used to combat the HIV/AIDS crisis, was in 1990. The expense of drugs then, she said, is similar to the healthcare struggles many Americans are facing today.

“The AIDS crisis has worsened in New York City,” Our Lady J said about the storyline of Season 2 of “Pose.” “AZT has come out but it’s not available to everyone. The price is so high that people who need it didn’t have access to it, and that’s actually a parallel to pharmaceutical companies right now. Public outrage and activism around issues like this can actually make change happen, and that’s what we are exploring this season.”

Trans panels

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Nik Kacy.
(Nik Kacy)

“Trans Pride presents a real and visible opportunity for our community to feel completely free to be ourselves,” genderqueer fashion model and activist Grey Crouch told The Times. “In our daily lives, particularly for those of us who are not fortunate enough to work in queer spaces, often we are not able to feel safe enough to share our true selves.”

Crouch’s recent projects include the Pride campaign by Humankind Swimwear and an online campaign for the summer collection of Stuzo Clothing. “Next I plan to do more work with Kake Clothing, based in Malibu, and expand in the realms of commercial and runway.”

Crouch participated in a panel called “Non-Binary and Genderqueer: A New Awareness of Gender Identities,” with celebrity shoe designer Nik Kacy, who founded Equality Fashion Week. (Nik Kacy Footwear is celebrating Pride month with a 20% off promotion for all new designs in the Destiny Collection.)

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Organizer Gina Bingham, center, with Skylar and Holly, who got married at the event; clockwise from top left, the entrance to L.A.'s Trans Pride; making flower crowns in honor of transgnder icon Marsha P. Johnson; a view of the Anita May Rosenstein Campus of the LGBT Center.
(Gina Bigham)

“In a perfect world, we wouldn’t even need a Trans Pride or any pride because there would be no homo/transphobia or hate of any kind,” Kacy said. “In a perfect world, all human beings should be treated the same in all aspects and be celebrated together. But we don’t live in a perfect world yet.

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“For now,” Kacy said, “I love that we can bring our community together to celebrate those who are here to represent, encourage and inspire those who might not be able to, or comfortable, to represent and honor those who had represented but lost their lives fighting for their right to exist.”

image@latimes.com

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