Syd Abad (left) backstage with actor/comedian Ian Harvie at the Lobero at last year’s Transgender Day of Visibility

The Santa Barbara Transgender Advocacy Network (SBTAN) is celebrating Transgender Day of Visibility on Saturday, April 6, with an evening of live music, open-mic stories, an art auction, and more. “We’re really looking forward to hearing the stories and showcasing the talents of members of our transgender community,” said Koreen Pagano, SBTAN president.

Deja Re (left) onstage with Kai Gloger

All proceeds will benefit SBTAN, which provides support and training for transgender and gender-expansive people and their families, as well as educators, service providers, health-care professionals, and employers looking to be more inclusive. SBTAN also offers support groups for transgender teens and their families. “We hope the event drives awareness and support,” Pagano said. “We have plans for expanding our youth services and community training over the next year, as well as additional programming for our adult support group.” 

Chef Eileen Randall will be heading up a baked-potato bar. Wine, beer, coffee, and homemade baked goods will also be available. Artists and businesses have donated unique auction items, including a portrait from Nathaniel Gray, founder of the Santa Barbara Project. Artist and business owner Genevieve Le Duc is contributing her first published book, and Tiffani Ortega of Mi Refugio Projects is supplying her handcrafted leather goods.

This is SBTAN’s fourth year celebrating Transgender Day of Visibility, which was founded in 2009 by activist Rachel Crandall to celebrate transgender people and raise awareness of their contributions worldwide. “By highlighting the multitude of voices in our community and showcasing the multitude of ways that our transgender community enriches our world, we hope that this year’s event is a shining example of how love, acceptance, and support of people of all gender identities always wins,” Pagano said. —Rebecca Horrigan


The Transgender Day of Visibility will be celebrated Saturday, April 6, 5-9 p.m. at the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara (1535 Santa Barbara St.). Admission is $20 ($10 for students). See


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