Inaugural TransNation Festival in Los Angeles Will Celebrate Transgender Culture and Raise Funds for Leading Transgender Health Program

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Three-day celebration beginning October 20, 2016 will include a two-day, invitation-only transgender film festival curated by Zackary Drucker at The Cinefamily and national transgender beauty pageant at The Theatre at the Ace Hotel

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St. John’s Well Child and Family Center, creators of one of the largest transgender health programs in the country, is announcing the first annual TransNation Festival. This three-day celebration of transgender artistic and cultural achievements beginning October 20, 2016 will include a film festival, benefit art exhibition, and beauty pageant in Los Angeles for an unprecedented national convergence of politicians, entertainers, trans* activists, and advocates in support of transgender health and human rights. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Imperial Court of Los Angeles and Hollywood’s Nicole Murray Ramirez Scholarship Fund, and St. John’s Well Child and Family Center’s Transgender Health Program, which is an independent 501(c)3 community health center that serves one of the largest populations of transgender patients in the country with primary care, as well as socio-economic and social justice services.

“At St. John’s, we believe that everyone has a fundamental right to health,” explains Jim Mangia, CEO at St. John’s Well Child and Family Center. “Our social justice mission and our health and human rights framework called us to serve the transgender community, just as we serve the undocumented, the unaccompanied minors and the economically disadvantaged. We are excited about the announcement of TransNation - a festival created by our transgender staff - to celebrate transgender culture and shed light on the barriers this community faces with the hope that stakeholders will begin to better understand this community and make changes to empower them to thrive.”

TransNation begins with a two-day film festival guest-curated by Zackary Drucker (Emmy-nominated producer for the docu-series This Is Me, co-producer on Golden Globe and Emmy-winning Transparent, and cast member on the E! docu-series I Am Cait) at The Cinefamily Cinematheque in West Hollywood and will showcase the best in new and repertory trans* related cinema with special guests and filmmakers in attendance.

On Saturday night, TransNation Festival will continue by launching the 15th annual Queen USA national transgender beauty pageant at The Theatre at the Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. The Queen USA pageant is a long-beloved mainstay of the local community, produced by pioneering transgender activist Karina Samala. With the support of St. John’s Well Child and Family Center, this year’s Queen USA will expand its reach to become a national transgender pageant, soliciting and selecting contestants across fifty states as well as the Native American nations. Queen USA explores and redefines traditional notions of beauty and will feature an unforgettable night of entertainment with national contestants, live performances, celebrity hosts and judges, significant cash prizes for pageant winners, and special awards honoring contemporary trans* pioneers and advocates.

“Queen USA is America’s number one transgender beauty pageant and we are honored to have the 15th annual celebration of beauty, diversity, talent and intelligence of transgender women as part of our inaugural TransNation event,” says Diana Feliz Oliva, St. John’s Transgender Health Program Manager. “Despite the surge in media attention around the transgender community and a break into mainstream discourse, there are societal barriers that are not being addressed such as the lack of access to health care, the lack of sensitivity and cultural competency. TransNation not only aims to bring light to these barriers in an effort to make change, but also calls for a celebration of our trans* culture.”
Applications for contestants to participate in the Queen USA beauty pageant are now open at and will close after 11:59 p.m. PST on August 15, 2016.To be eligible to compete in the Queen USA Pageant, contestants must be 21 years old or over on or before the submission of the application; a transgender and/or gender non-conforming individual; in good physical and mental health and capable of performing the duties of the National Titleholder, as set forth in the application; able to travel and meet all the obligations and time commitments of the National Titleholder, as set forth in the application and any related documents; a current resident of the state of which you are applying to represent; and a supporter of transgender health and human rights. All California residents must compete in Queen California as a prerequisite to qualify for Queen USA. California applicants can register at

About St. John’s
St. John’s Well Child and Family Center is an independent, non-profit community health center founded in 1964 with clinics covering the areas of Central and South Los Angeles and Compton. St. John’s Well Child and Family Center services patients of all ages through a network of health centers to eliminate health disparities and foster community wellbeing by providing and promoting the highest quality care in South Los Angeles. Learn more at

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