Dubliners defied the rain to march at the city’s first ever trans pride event on Saturday (July 28).
The new Pride march drew a large crowd – clad in waterproof jackets and yielding umbrellas – as they marched through the centre of the overcast Irish capital from Liberty Hall to Fairview Park, with speeches from trans rights campaigners.
Marchers held signs with captions including “trans rights are human rights,” “fight the cis-tem,” and “respect my existence or expect my resistance.”
Organisers created Trans Pride Dublin after they felt that Dublin Pride, which took place at the end of June, was not paying enough attention to trans issues.
One of the founders of Trans Pride Dublin, Thomas White, also heavily criticised the actions of a small group of anti-trans lesbian protesters who hijacked the parade at London Pride earlier this month.
Speaking to PinkNews earlier this month, White called their actions “shocking” and said that the protest highlighted “the urgent need for a Trans Pride that raises up the voices of our community to speak for ourselves.”
Following the Pride in London anti-trans protest, a notable number of lesbians attended Trans Pride Dublin on Saturday to show their support for the transgender community, carrying signs with captions like “#LwiththeT” and “solidarity.”
Trans Pride Dublin was organised by three trans and intersex activists, who decided to stage their own demonstration in Dublin following similar events in Brighton, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Ollie Bell, another organiser, previously told PinkNews that there is a need to return to Pride’s roots as a protest.
“There should be a place where we can celebrate who we are and the gains we have achieved but there are still so many issues that need to be fought for,” Bell said.
“We think Pride should be reflective of the needs of the community rather than an advertising space for corporations.
“A lot of companies use Pride as an opportunity for corporate pinkwashing, with many having policies and practices that are harmful to the LGBTQ+ community.
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“If Pride was organised in a more grassroots fashion which took feedback from the community into account that would be a good step forward, but we feel that the trans community deserves our own Pride regardless,” they added.
There was a large interest from Ireland’s LGBT+ community leading up to the march, with the Facebook event showing more than 1,000 people signed up as interested or attending.
The theme for the first Trans Pride Dublin was Bodily Autonomy – inspired by Ireland’s landslide vote in May to repeal a constitutional amendment which prohibited abortion in almost all circumstances.
Organisers explained that bodily autonomy is also an extremely important issue for trans people.
Bell said that the vote was a victory for everyone who struggled against the “conservative establishment.”
“Many young people in particular now feel emboldened to speak out against oppression.
“We hope that Trans Pride will be the start of a radical movement for trans rights in Ireland,” they added.
The group said they hope the march will draw attention to some of the issues affecting trans people in Ireland today, such as access to healthcare, legal recognition for non-binary and intersex people, transphobic violence and the need for better mental health services.
They also called for better sex education that caters for the LGBT+ community.