Transmissions: Not On Our TERF is a brand new party storming into Dalston dance basement VFD on Friday 31st August.
It’s first and foremost intended to provide a safe, fun space for trans people and their allies – free from pressures to ‘pass’ or lascivious glances from ‘chasers’. It’s fine if you’re into trans women, but, much like cis women, sometimes trans women just want to dance around and have a good time without being ogled.
TRANSMISSIONS is also a response to the unpleasant and unprecedented rise of the “TERF” movement. “TERF” stands for “trans-exclusionary radical feminists”. It’s a bizarre offshoot of feminism, that denounces the existence of trans women, and denies their access to things like public toilets, under the guise of “protecting women”.
We got TRANSMISSIONS’ founder Lucia Mannion to tell us a bit more about that, what we can expect from next week’s party, and more.
Hey Lucia! Tell us a bit about yourself and Transmissions.
I’m a London-based performer and the founder of trans-support group, Transmissions. We welcome trans/non-binary/intersex+ and cis allies to join us in open discussions, self defence classes, spiritual healing and monthly club nights. We’re currently working on a zine, a clothing line and a radio station.
For those who don’t know, explain the term TERF.
The term “TERF” stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminists, and is used to describe those who misuse feminism as an excuse to be openly transphobic. Their dogma proclaims that our existence reinforces rigid gender roles and patriarchal oppression. Their tactics are relentless propaganda and harming/harassing us until we feel severe depression and in some cases, suicide.
What would you say to people who say “TERF” is an offensive term?
“TERF” is no more offensive than “Nazi” or “Fascist” – an accurate word used to describe an oppressor cannot be called a slur. Having hateful beliefs is not an unchangeable factor of a person’s being, like race or being trans is. They’re literally trying to obliterate us from existence. We merely want them to leave us alone – there’s a huge difference.
A lot of intelligent, academic, left wing people have come out as TERFs lately…why do you think that is?
Well to be honest, we’ve been oppressed by the “intellectual” and “academic” for centuries now, (as have most minorities) and the left is far from absence of bigotry. It’s important to remember that when looking for reasoning in their ego-driven hatred. Also, they may be following the footsteps of the many TERFs that have had successful careers, riding the backs of trans people since the 70’s, such as Janice Raymond or Sheila Jeffreys. No emancipation is without friction though, and the TERF movement will be a small chapter in our story of social justice.
So much of the mainstream media is still peddling transphobia…again, why do you think that is?
We have seen an explosion in visibility of trans people in recent years. They’re suddenly on TV, on front covers of magazines and even in our local schools; the number of trans children medically transitioning has quadrupled in the past five years, according to the GIDS. Although it’s expected to see a correlating rise in transphobia, I do believe the media are feeding this fire for entertainment value and to sell stories, which is kind of sadistic.
What can allies do to help?
Our cis allies are a lot more important to us than they may think. We need you all to be educating your friends, families, co-workers, etc. To speak up if you ever see any form of transphobia, such as someone being misgendered. To remember that a lot of us are terrified being out in public, that’s why we may seem anxious or “strange.” We also need you to bear in mind our constant battles, both external and internal.
Why is it important to have trans spaces in 2018?
We need more spaces for trans/non-binary/intersex+ because environment is vital in finding one’s identity. I always knew I was trans, but it wasn’t until I started working at vFd in Dalston, London, that I truly found out who I was, and started living a fulfilling and authentic life. That is why we started Transmissions – to share this unconditional love to those who need it.
FINALLY…what can we expect from the party on 31st August?
You can expect outrageous, hilarious, anti-TERF performances and pop/dance music until the early hours. It’s all about having a laugh, making new friends and showing the world that we’re too full of life for them to tear us down. Come show your support!
Transmissions: Not on our TERF is on Friday 31st August at VFD. Hit attending here.