“We need to use our numbers and our voices”: London Trans Pride’s Lucia Blayke wants trans people and allies to unite against hate.

London Trans Pride

This Saturday, history will be made as London’s first ever Trans Pride descends on the streets of the capital.

In a social milieu of rising hate crimes and a political milieu of unbridled chaos, reminding the general public of the needs and existence of minorities is more important than ever.

It’s the passionate project of Lucia Blayke, an activist and scene figure who’s made a name for herself lately with “Transmissions”, her defiant, debauched club night for trans people, and “Harpies” the UK’s first LGBTQ strip club.

“This is the first London Trans Pride,” Lucia tell us. “There are other great trans prides around the UK, but we felt there would be a lot of power in holding one in the capital.”

The event has received opposition from some members of the trans/GNC community for its decision to include a headline set from cis performer Brooke Candy at Saturday night’s after party event.

“I met Brooke on a shoot earlier this year,” says Lucia. “As soon as she heard we were planning a march she said she wanted to fly in, and support it and march with us.”

“I’m using the after party to fund the march, so I thought it’d be great having a big name headliner to help sell tickets. I contacted loads of trans artists – they weren’t available on the right date but Brooke was available and up for supporting it.”

“She never wanted to make it about her – she just wanted to get involved and help the movement. And now she’s helping us raise money to fund it, so that’s great.”

With Brooke Candy’s presence and the recent announcement of speeches from high profile activists like Munroe Bergdorf and Jamie Windust, Lucia says there’s been a flurry of interest from across the globe.

“We’ve had emails about it from all over the world – Brazil, the States, people in Europe…people are flying in for it. And what’s great is it’s having a bit of a knock-on effect – we’ve had messages from people in Berlin saying they’re gonna do a Berlin trans pride now.”

The idea for London Trans Pride was, like many events of its kind, born as a reactive opposition to hate. Lucia vividly remembers the experience that planted the seed.

“A bunch of us did a Fashion Week protest in February this year – there were only about a hundred of us. But we all dressed up and went to protest and it got quite a bit of press.”

Lucia at London Fashion Week in February

“It was a wonderful day for everyone because it’s obviously really daunting for trans people to be out in public, in broad daylight, in central London. So we were all really nervous – and we were getting quite a bit of abuse. We were getting heckled and people were shouting slurs at us out of car windows. But the fact that we were all together, and had that unity…I’ve never felt such pride and such strength.”

“Since transitioning, every public appearance has just been…horrendous. And I’m still waiting for it to end. But that was the first time I enjoyed being out in public. We all confessed to each other afterwards that we’ve felt more confident in our day-to-day lives since that day; we’re more happy to able to just travel and exist. And that’s what I want to achieve with London Trans Pride – but on a much bigger scale.”

While she wants people to have fun and feel the love, Lucia also stresses the importance of raising awareness of the needs of trans people in the UK, many of which are still being consistently overlooked.

“Obviously it’s important for everyone to come and experience pride and love about their trans identities, but we also need to use our numbers, our voices and the press to raise awareness on issues like the poor state of healthcare for trans people in the UK right now.”

“We have ridiculous waiting times for GICs [Gender Identity Clinics]. If you look into it, the clinics are not necessary at all. Most countries across the world have dropped them because it’s an outdated system. In many places it’s an informed consent model, in which your GP can just sign off and give you the medical help that you need. So we’re proposing to government that they adopt an informed consent model.”

“There are only seven of these clinics across the whole of the UK, so it can be years before you get seen. The current waiting times actually exceed the NHS’s official recommendation. It’s really just not necessary. Your GP is fully qualified to make that decision.”

“It’s really detrimental to trans people’s health. There’s a correlation between mental health issues and medical transition. Usually issues with mental health improve with medical transition – meaning you could maybe come off antidepressants, stuff like that. It impacts mental health issues, suicide rates…everything really. It’s vital that we access medical help as soon as possible.”

“So bring your friends, and come down and do a bit of activism.”

  • The London Trans Pride march meets on Saturday 14th September at 1pm at Wellington Arch, Hyde Park Corner. Hit attending here
  • The Official After Party is at The Garage, Islington, 11pm – 4am. More info and tickets here

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