Trans day of remembrance vigil in Sackville Street gardens, Manchester
Today I have been to perhaps one of the best trans events of my life ever, at the trans day of remembrance vigil in Sackville Street gardens in Manchester.
What is it?
I’ll start first with what is the trans day of remembrance first.
This past week has been Trans awareness week, 13-19th November and for this today there was a Trans rights and Trans day of Remembrance event.
This event is mainly to remember the trans brothers and sisters who’ve lost their lives in the past year for no other reason than they are Transgender and were being themselves. These people have been murdered because the society in their country deems being trans to be unacceptable, against a religious construct, or just because they were transgender.
The trans day of remembrance is not just about people in this country but about people throughout the world.
At today’s event, there was also a march to raise awareness of trans rights, again I wanted to be there for this.
The day started at 4 p.m. in Sackville Gardens in the Gay Village, beginning just as the sun went down, we gathered together.
Placards were handed, out instructions issued, and off we went to march around Manchester city center.
I wanted to go on the march because I am seriously concerned about the anti-transgender diatribe in the media, news and how anti-trans the Tory party have become recently. They are seeing to undo the gender equality act and human rights act. Something is seriously wrong when each week there is another anti-trans article in The Times, BBC, etc. However, I digress!
The march had maybe 200 people but that’s a rough guesstimate as I didn’t have a chance to count people because I was near the front.
I’ve shouted myself hoarse on the march with many a shout of “Trans Lives matter”
We went from Sackville Street gardens down canal Street and then across to Piccadilly gardens. Then down Moseley Street and onto St Peter’s Square and then along to Portland Street and back to the gay village and Churchill’s bar.
I know the organisers already thanked John & Antonio for letting us use the venue, but I’d like to extend my personal thanks for the welcoming that we all received at Churchill’s bar.
At this point, I think there were still about 100 people who came to watch and listen to the speakers.
For about three-quarters of an hour, we listened to various speakers and a tribute to Stephanie, one of the village’s own. For the love of me, I can’t remember the name of the singer :'(
The song that her friend played in memory was both thoughtful and at the same time did make me cry.
The key speaker was Annie Wallace, the actress from Hollyoaks, who gave a very inspiring speech about the gender equality act and also the lack of equality in other countries compared to the UK but also how the UK needs improvement.
Some of the things that she said in her speech really resonated with me and I will be doing more research into some of the things she said, particularly the Gender Equality Act and also gender marker applications.
I will also be looking and some of the things that the young lady, Eden Ladley, said from the LGBT Foundation about trans rights and the Indigo clinic initiative, again this has inspired me. It has actually sparked a flame in my mind and reminded me that I need to be more proactive in my own transition and look up further alternatives to the path that I am currently on!
The Trans day of remembrance vigil
After the speakers in Churchills, we all returned to the Trans memorial in Sackville gardens where we held a candlelight vigil for the trans people who died around the world in the past 12-months.
Finally, as we stood to celebrate the Trans day of remembrance vigil, with our lit candles in hand, a list of those who have died was read out by numerous vigil participants.
A list of some 375 trans men and women. This number of people were only the deaths that had been reported in media outlets around the world and I am sure that this number is a gross underestimate of the number of deaths of trans people in the past 12 months.
At the end of the vigil, we raised our candles in to the air and the event silently drew to a close. However, many of us stayed around in Sackville Gardens for a short while afterward to gather our thoughts, wipe our tears, hug others and chat.
I’ve also met some really beautiful people at the vigil today who have made me think about a few things in my life and what I should be doing with it.
I have loved today and thank you to all those involved in the organisation of this wonderful and important event.
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