A group of young transgender activists have been organising Dublin’s first-ever Trans Pride March.
Trans Pride organisers didn’t feel that trans issues were being highlighted at Dublin Pride and were inspired to bring the march to Dublin after similar events occurred in Scotland, Brighton and Northern Ireland.
“There wasn’t a space at Dublin Pride where we felt trans issues were being highlighted,” said Trans Pride Organiser Ollie Bell.
Because of this, the group began to organise their own grassroots movement without support from sponsors, businesses or corporations.
After the influence of the Repeal movement, organisers realised that now, more than ever, young people are invested in political change. The group hopes that the Trans Pride March will be the catalyst that sparks more grassroots movements that push transgender issues to the forefront.
With their protest, Trans Pride wants to raise awareness for a variety of issues affecting transgender people such as trans healthcare. They are also demanding a change in the legislation regarding intersex genital mutilation (IGM) on intersex babies, hate crimes and gay conversion therapy in Ireland. Trans Pride is also demanding better trans-inclusive mental health care.
“We are demanding that the government make these changes,” said Bell. “The only way to put pressure on the establishment is through mass movement.”
Bell also reported a variety of instances of transphobic abuse that shows the importance of Trans Pride. Their friends have reported hate crimes to the Gardai and been laughed at, have grappled with homelessness and street harassment and have pretended to be binary to receive access to hormone replacement therapy.
Trans Pride organisers, including Bell, participated in a protest last Saturday where nearly 300 people marched from the Department of the Taoiseach to Leinster House to demand better transgender healthcare.
For Bell, Pride Parades are the opportunity to celebrate identity and the achievements of the LGBT+ community. However, they believe that mainstream Pride parades have lost their radical roots and often forgets to recognize trans issues and achievements.
The Trans Pride March will not receive support from capitalist institutions which is essential to their grassroots movement. Corporations like Facebook, Amazon and YouTube appear to be LGBT+ friendly during Pride month in June but actually, have anti-LGBT policies in place.
“It’s important for our march not to have sponsors from corporations or businesses because they don’t really care about us, they only see us as a profitable market, ” said Bell. “Facebook has a transphobic name policy and YouTube demonetizes your videos if you mention the word ‘transgender’ but these businesses are allowed to brand themselves with rainbows.”
At least 300 people have marked themselves as going to the official Trans Pride Facebook event and more than 800 are interested in attending.
The group is in contact with a variety of LGBT+ organisations and trade unions to encourage their presence at the event. Organisations like Bi+ Ireland, Radical Queers Resist and Trinity College’s QSoc are planning on marching.
Trans Pride encourages everyone to participate in the march, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The protest is meant to demand change and provide support to the trans community, according to the organisation.
The march is expected to take place on Saturday, July 28 at 2 pm. Liberty Hall will serve as the meeting point with the march taking place along Amiens Street to Fairview Park- the origin point of LGBT+ Pride in Ireland.
“This event is an attempt to return to the radical roots of Pride,” said Bell. “We think that the destination of the march is significant given its historical context”
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