Have you heard about the trans* ally program? Loads of people are getting involved all over the world – including some of the volunteers and performers at this years Sparkle event.
So, how can you be an ally to the Trans community? It is actually really simple. Stand up and be counted. Challenge transphobic comments and behaviour, and show your trans* friends the support that they need.
All the artists that are appearing this year have said that trans issues are the next big fight, and stepping up and supporting an amazing event like Sparkle shows that we can all stand shoulder to shoulder to fight prejudice and hate together.
This year more than ever before, Sparkle volunteers include people that are not on the trans spectrum but who want to help and to breakdown some of the barriers. So Gaylife asked some of our volunteers and artists a question. The answers are interesting because they seem to highlight the same issues that the Trans community highlight themselves….
What do you think is an important issue to highlight as an ally?
Rowetta – It is about showing respect for someone who does not have a choice in who they are.
Kavana – It is about humanity. We are all human beings however we present ourselves.
Hayley Ria Christian – I think a recent Sparkle poster sums it up for me. “Don’t guess my gender Just ask” and “Let’s Get It Right.”
Carl (Volunteer) – Correcting people who mis-gender. Say what you see, if someone presents as a man or women that is how you should address them.
Lee (Volunteer) – Trans people have always been in the forefront for gay rights. And now it is about time we stood up for trans rights.
Being an ally is simple really. It is about standing next to a person and saying, “I have got your back,” Straight people did it for the fight for gay equality. Trans people did it at the Stonewall riots, and everyone gay, straight and trans did it for race equality.
Sparkle is all about coming together and celebrating the diversity of the trans spectrum. This year more than ever it is also about celebrating the role of allies and friends who can and do make a trans persons journey a little easier.