SAN DIEGO — Safety and security precautions were in place in Hillcrest as a controversial Transgender Youth Halloween event happened smoothly, hosted by TransFamily Support Services.
Hundreds of parents and youngsters in costume came out Saturday to party and party hearty! There were many incredible Halloween costumes.
The Nightmare on Normal Street was set up with contests and games; some skill was applied but not necessary. Everybody won something!
"It's inspiring this is happening. It's imperative to us as a family that there are events like this for kids to be seen, be visible; they can bring their whole authentic selves out into the community and be supported," a parent attending the event said.
Online criticism was leveled at the event, so private security was hired to assist San Diego Police and their helicopter.
"It is incredibly comfortable; we were a little nervous. We heard some protestors were out and the minute we rounded the corner, there was a wall of people just making sure that we could get in and kids wouldn't see that. It's incredible," another parent said.
More than a hundred volunteers lined the sidewalk in front of the venue.
"Isn't that wonderful? We are in charge of the Wall of Love," said Max Disposti, Executive Director of the North County LGBTQ Resource Center.
"We're here to look at our community in San Diego County that showed up by the hundreds today to support our kids and their families so they can have the time of their lives in a safe environment," Disposti continued.
"Halloween is an extraordinary event, particularly in Hillcrest, and this event is designed to make sure children of all diverse types enjoy themselves. We love our trans-children and will support them," said San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria.
Protesters did appear, waving signs and shouting from across the street.
"We're here in love. We are united, here for a simple message. 'Drag is harmful to children. Stop sexualizing our children," said Ben Richards of the Southern California Parent Advocates, who led a group of 15 or 20 protesters.
The group of 20 or so made their point and left peacefully.
Toni Atkins, President pro Tempore of the California State Senate, announced on stage in the event - "Let kids be kids; have a good time. I'll always have your back as you've had mine."
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