SANTA MARIA, Calif. - The transgender community showed a united front in Santa Maria Friday afternoon in the first annual International Transgender Day of Visibility Rally.
Organizers say the goal was to draw attention to those in the community feeling more empowered to let everyone know who they are.
"People are, overall, good, they're just unaware", said Jessica Lynn a transgender woman who was among a large crowd who gathered at the corner of Main Street and Broadway for the rally Friday afternoon, "once they learn a little bit more about people like ourselves, they are way more accepting."
Lynn says she travels the country as an advocate for transgender rights and acceptance.
"Spread awareness, teaching, helping educate and letting people know that we are out there and that we are not, we are not just so alone", Lynn said.
For other participants in Friday's rally, its about fighting for tolerance and acceptance in the community and in a changing world.
"I am hopeful because I'm one of the people who comes here to a lot of these events", said participant and transgender woman Annabeille Des-Aveilles-Pourdons, "I work on such things, you know, putting together jobs for organizations, setting up a Board of Directors, to see change, so I'm hopeful myself, but it looks very scary at this moment for transgender folks."
Jessica Lynn and others who participated in the rally Friday afternoon say they are looking for education, acceptance and tolerance in their community.
"I'm a father of three, okay, I transitioned at 45 years old, and this is who I am", Jessica Lynn said, "I finally feel after 45 years old, I finally feel comfortable in my own skin."