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This is why the UK’s first-ever Trans Festival was so crucially important

Stephan Kyriacou March 18, 2020
This is why the UK's first-ever Trans Festival was so crucially important

The first ever Trans Festival was held to critical acclaim in London's Covent Garden. (PinkNews)

This year saw the birth of the first-ever Trans Festival, an event conceived by Jecca Blac founder Jessica Blackler.

Jecca Blac is a cosmetics company that offers a safe space for transgender women to explore and learn about make-up – and Trans Fest is Jessica’s way of extending that safe space and sense of acceptance to the rest of the trans community.

Sponsored by trans-inclusive lingerie brand GI Collection and the London Transgender Clinic, Trans Fest is the first-ever transgender-focused event that is “a chance to celebrate ourselves and each other.”

Packed with panel talks, food and drink as well as a marketplace where guests could shop from inclusive brands, countless trans folk and allies hopped onto trains and buses to head to Bar Langley in the heaving heart of London for the first-of-its-kind event. 

This is why the UK's first-ever Trans Festival was so crucially important
Juno Dawson speaking with host Chiyo Gomes. (PinkNews)

Community leaders dotted the list of speakers, who ranged from trans author Juno Dawson sharing her moving account of My Journey of Being Me, to non-binary writer and model Radam Ridwan leading a discussion on Sending Positives Vibes Online.

The various panels hosted both advocates and allies of the trans community sharing their stories and experiences.

The panel talks also included insights into drag culture, comedy, finding your style, and coming out online.

Several trans-orientated organisations were invited to the event, including trans charity Mermaids who hosted their own panel on ‘allyship’ featuring Jake and Hannah Graf, along with Jake Edwards from the Mermaids team.

(L to R): Hannah Graf, Jake Graf, Jake Edwards, Matt Moore.

Various other trans groups and inclusive make-up companies like L’Oréal and Trans Fest sponsors Carmen Liu Lingerie were also invited to celebrate with the community.

When asked about Trans Fest, a L’Oréal UKI spokesperson said they were “proud to have sponsored Trans Festival 2020”, and described it as a “hugely successful event”.

They continued on to pledge their commitment to “supporting and advancing the rights of trans people” and have recently introduced a Transitioning in the Workplace policy, driven by L’Oréal UKI’s LGBTQ+ Employees and Allies network – “a passionate group of people who are driving change in the business.”

Feedback from other Trans Festival attendees was also hugely positive.

Blogger Luana labelled Trans Fest as “a beautiful initiative with beautiful people”,  while London Trans Clinic said it was “fantastic to see pioneering and influential companies getting together to embrace all the wonderful identities”.

Trans Fest came about after London hosted its first-ever Trans Pride march in September of 2019.

Founder Jessica Blackler described the attendee response as “incredible” and said she hopes to host the event again in coming years.

“I decided that Trans Festival is devoted to bringing the community together and for people to connect, socialise and be themselves,” Jessica shared.

And it looks like it did exactly that!

See more photos from the event below:

This is why the UK's first-ever Trans Festival was so crucially important

This is why the UK's first-ever Trans Festival was so crucially important

This is why the UK's first-ever Trans Festival was so crucially important

More: beauty, cosmetics, Jecca Blac, Make-Up, trans fest, Transgender

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