London will host its first ever Transgender Pride festival later this year, according to an announcement.
The event, London Trans Pride 2019, has been launched by founders and performers Lucia Blake and Finn Love on Facebook.
The all-day festival is planned for Sept. 14 in Hackney, although the specific venue and lineup are yet to be announced.
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The point of the event, according to its Facebook page, is to centre and celebrate trans people, trans narratives, trans experiences, trans history, and trans activism.
Organisers are very clear in the invitation about the need for trans people to be able to share their own narratives, saying that “the media are controlling the way trans people are seen and allowed to be seen and our voices are being distorted through a cis-[heteronormative] media lens.”
“We want to create a space that centres trans people and allows us to take ownership over our narrative,” they add.
People of all gender identities are welcome, it adds, including people are who trans, non-binary, intersex, and gender nonconforming, among others.
It also emphasises that the event is for “people that think they might be trans+, but maybe aren’t sure. It is for anyone who needs to escape the transphobic hegemony of cis-patriarchy.”
“We welcome allies, friends, and families of trans people to celebrate their trans loved ones with us on this day,” the invitation adds.
The festival will feature live music, performances, a series of stalls from LGBTQ+ organisations, artwork, and panels and talks with people who are trans.
The committee behind the event reportedly includes curator Jo Bligh, writers Emily Crooked and Andre Neely, artist Katy Jalili, producer Jen Smethurst, filmmaker Sweatmother, and events organiser Tam Vibert, according to PinkNews.
The organisers were inspired to launch a specific trans Pride event after last year’s Pride march in London was “hijacked” by anti-trans protesters, with banners reading “trans activists erase lesbians.”
“Last year’s transphobic protests and the all too familiar centring of cis-white gay-male narratives at Pride in London certainly informed our decision,” organisers told PinkNews.
“We realised collectively that it’s time for us to own our stories, to celebrate them, and to take up the space we deserve outside and in broad daylight,” they added.
According to organisers: “We deserve our own Pride event, a day to come together and stand in a crowd and feel normal. We hope to make this day special, inclusive, memorable, and historical.”
Organisers also emphasised the need to have “sober, day time, and family friendly spaces” to bring people together as a community to celebrate.
They point out that many spaces where trans and queer people gather together are centred around clubbing and alcohol, which can exclude people with different needs.
“There are so many really fantastic and inspiring nightlife spaces and nightclubs that work extremely hard to be trans inclusive, but for the trans community of London to continue to grow stronger we need more diverse spaces which cater to the different needs of different people,” they added.