On Saturday, February 1, the interior courtyard in Collins Barracks, Dublin, was lit up with images of trans women and non-binary femme identifying people as part of the beautiful and inspiring EveryWoman Project, created by The Stairlings Collective. It was a partnership with Herstory, the Irish women’s storytelling movement which uncovers fascinating women’s stories from history, mythology and contemporary culture.
The EveryWoman Project is a celebration of trans women and non-binary femme folk in Ireland designed by young trans women to create a positive representation of trans people and to develop relationships with other members of their community. It’s an opportunity to say thank you for the community spirit which these women do so much to sustain, and to recognise the need for positive representation, which helps to make life tolerable, happy and fulfilled for the younger generation who are growing up in Ireland today.
The Collective shared that the women being celebrated in this event are representative of a community who have faced exclusion from Irish society but still act as a beacon of hope for others who may be struggling.
— National Museum of Ireland (@NMIreland) February 2, 2020
The Stairlings Collective are an intergenerational LGBT+ history research collective initiated by artist Alisha Doody in 2018. Alisha shared the genesis of the project: “We were interested in the Herstory Ireland project and what we could do for more inclusive representation within this. It was really interesting to us that the open call actually highlighted the festival being about a more democratic representation of women in Ireland. For us, that needed to include trans women and non-binary femme folk. And, that’s really how it started.”
Aoife continued, “For younger people growing up and feeling like they are different, not knowing if there is anyone else like them, it is extremely important to have positive representation because to see who you are reflected back at you can really ease that burden of feeling like an outsider. It’s massive for us to imagine giving these women a national platform, people who we believe deserve to see themselves lit up in the beautiful courtyard of the National Museum in Collins Barracks because it isn’t just about these people (who we admire) seeing themselves…It’s also really about the people that can see themselves in these women.
“Essentially, this project is a declaration of existence and that these people are not going to wait until people are comfortable for them to be the multi-faceted and beautiful trans/non-binary femme folk individuals that they are.”
You can read more about The Stairlings Collective and the EveryWoman Project in the February issue of GCN.
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