One person in the radical group wore a red bandana over his face and mouth, concerning some in attendance.
In what should have been a peaceful night of giving back to the community on Friday turned a bit ugly as trans radicals infiltrated the assembly hall at the San Diego LGBT Community Center and shouted offensive slurs toward transgender police officer Christine Garcia.
Officer Garcia was there to receive an award, but was also met with trans hecklers who called her a “pig.”
Mayor of Hillcrest, Nicole Murray-Ramirez was in attendance and says there was an estimated four-hundred-plus people in the audience, some children,who drowned out the protest with a standing ovation.
This year’s Transgender Day of Empowerment was a youth-focused event which included speakers, awarding of the Tracie Jada O’Brien scholarship recipients, and honoring of those in the trans community who have made a difference.
Officer Christine Garcia was one of those honored, but a handful of protestors allowed inside the event immediately made it known that she was undeserving of the recognition by shouting derogatory epithets and holding signs which read “Revolution not Reform” and “I Will Not Put Up With This Sh*t”
Murray-Ramirez told San Diego Gay and Lesbian News that the protesters were from both the LGBT and straight community.
“This attack on police officer Garcia was one of the most ugliest incidents against our own that I have ever witnessed in our community," Murray Ramirez said. "What’s even sadder these anti-police activists, and these actions are supported by The Center associates "A.T" and CZ Firestone.”
He adds: “It was these same two people that were the leaders in the central efforts to deny Officer Garcia entrance into The Center while she was in uniform.”
More concerning was the way one picketer was dressed says trans activist and journalist, Autumn Sandeen who was also in attendance.
“One of the people had a red bandana over nose and mouth,” she said. “The guy right off the bat yelled ‘We don’t want a pig in here.’”
She said she was glad to see the entire auditorium come to Garcia’s defense by, “giving standing ovations and booing the protestors.”
Sandeen says she understands the fear that many in the transgender community feel toward law enforcement, but this rally was ineffective, especially toward someone so beloved within San Diego.
She reports that The Center’s Dr. Delores Jacobs and some others stood around the protestors, she thinks this was to discourage any escalation of the conflict.
In a Facebook post following last night's events, Firestone wrote:
"The sound of booing resounds in my ears, deafening silence prevailed, stuck standing still. For my real ones carrying signs, my undying love and respect. For all the fake people, betraying their own wellness, J. Cole said it best: "If they don't wanna be saved, don't save them." You think you're risking your life for trans people's safety, stop lying to yourself, you risk your life so that those with power privileges go unchecked. You didn't betray me or even the youth, YOU BETRAYED YOURSELF."