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‘Radical transgender activists’ try to stop trans SDPD officer’s award



One of San Diego’s finest, Christine Garcia was told earlier this year, she was going to receive an award on April 14 for the Transgender Day of Empowerment event at the San Diego LGBT Community Center (The Center).

However according to activist and Mayor of Hillcrest Nicole Murray Ramirez, in an editorial posted in LGBT Weekly, that honor was rescinded due to criticism from local “radical transgender activists.”

“One even threatened to ‘shut the event down,’” wrote Ramirez. “These individuals numbering about three to five transgender activists absolutely hate all police officers and departments, period. Tracie (O’Brien), and her committee being afraid of an ugly incident caved into the bullies and withdrew Officer Garcia’s award.”

Tracie O’Brien, is the founder of the annual Transgender Day of Empowerment and also serves as its chair.

Ramirez was outraged when he found out that Garcia was again not allowed a place within her own peer group.

The first time Officer Garcia was subject to marginalization happened late last year; she was initially not allowed into The Center on National Transgender Day of Remembrance because she was in uniform.

At that time, The Center’s Chief Executive Officer Dr. Delores Jacobs explained that excluding Officer Garcia from that event was a misunderstanding of policy by a single staff member.

“When they are attending events, they are not here to ‘police’ The Center – though they may be in uniform or on-duty,” Dr. Jacobs said at the time. “They are community members attending events on their lunch or dinner hours. They are welcome to be here in uniform. They are a part of our community.”

Chief of Communications for The Center, Amber Cyphers, also made it clear at the time that staff had been re-trained on policy to accommodate San Diego officers, and the situation had been resolved.

“After this happened, the entire staff were involved in a series of discussions to clarify The Center’s policy and to discuss ways to support and offer alternatives to community members who continue to be uncomfortable with police officers in uniform.”

This time Ramirez, after hearing about Officer Garcia’s recent exclusion, threatened to organize a counter-demonstration.

However, last week Garcia got a call saying that she would in fact be honored and the awards ceremony would go on as planned.

“While it is good that the Transgender Day of Empowerment organizers have changed their minds, my question is why the San Diego transgender community has let these few radical transgender activists cause so much dissent and division?” Ramirez wrote.

He adds, “I have spoken with many transgender leaders who tell me that these radical transgender activists are indeed causing division and bullying their fellow transgender sisters and brothers.”

Ramirez implores people to come to The Center on Friday, April 14, to support Officer Garcia and her efforts to bridge the gap between the LGBT community and law enforcement. 

“It’s time that our LGBT community stand up and face down these radical transgender activists,” Ramirez writes. “Please attend this Friday’s Transgender Day of Empowerment at The Center at 6 pm and show your support for Police Officer Christine Garcia. Thank you.”

The Center is only the venue for the awards event, and has no involvement as an organization with the trans community members who spoke out against officer Garcia. 

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