SolidariTy is a joint initiative by LGBT Noise and Transgender Equality Network Ireland. It’s all about getting cis people- in particular LGBs, but straight cis people should get their butts on board too- to stand up and be counted and support trans people’s rights. They’ve just released a video (yep, that’s me in the blue). Check it out:
I love that something like SolidariTy is happening. It’s not enough for cis people to give quiet thumbs-up to our trans friends and then go on about our lives. Trans people in Ireland don’t have the same rights as cis people do. Trans people are at terrifyingly high risk of being fired from their jobs, having an even harder time than the rest of us actually getting work in the first place, ostracised from families and communities, denied necessary healthcare, and of suffering from mental health difficulties, self-harm and suicide. Trans people are denied legal gender recognition in this country, and the government’s proposed legislation to remedy this is outdated and damaging. That legislation would force people to divorce, it would force trans kids and teenagers to spend years with documents that don’t match their identities, and it would enshrine the idea that to be trans is to be mentally ill.
That’s no way for our country to treat its citizens, and no way for our society to treat its members. If you’re here in Ireland, keep an eye on SolidariTy to see how you can help change things.
In the past week we heard a lot from people from all sides of our community regarding Dublin Pride’s decision not to allow speakers from community and activist groups after Saturday’s parade. Fortunately for everyone, Pride were able to come to an agreement with LGBTQ groups, allowing them a small amount of time to address the Pride crowds.
There’s one thing I kept on hearing last week from some people associated with Pride Committee members that I’d like to address, and that’s this: where were the community and activist groups all year? While Pride Committee members were volunteering their time to put on a festival.. where was everyone else?
Where were they? Here, of course. Everywhere.
I find it difficult to understand how members of the Pride committee could see that they gave long hours to their group, but not that everyone else is doing the same.
The vast majority of the work that goes into every LGBT community or activist group in the country is voluntary. Even organisations with paid staff rely heavily on volunteers. Throughout the country, every evening and weekend, people give long hours of their time and donate their incredible expertise to build our communities and campaign for inclusion and equality.
We all give our time.
Activist and community groups build and sustain the community that Pride celebrates. They give us a place to go for the other 50 weeks of the year. They run the support groups and helplines. They organise our regular meetups. They run the campaigns that will- oh, they will– build a society where LGBTQ people are not only equally respected under the law, but equally valued as members of our society.
Activist and community groups have been working their butts off on activism and community building. That’s what they do. They also gave Dublin Pride what they asked for- filled out their forms to be part of the parade- and no doubt assumed that in the absence of any further information, the day would continue to be organised in a similar way to how it had been for years. Dublin Pride are the people who had responsibility for letting everyone else know if something else was going on.
If they didn’t do that? They should own up. Complaining about having put in long hours to people who do the exact same thing with their own evenings and weekends? Not doing anyone any favours. Hopefully next year’s committee can learn from this year’s mistakes, take ownership of their jobs and make an event that is both a spectacular party and a call to action.
I wrote on Saturday about a few concerns I have regarding the marriage equality campaign. The day after I wrote that post, I attended LGBT Noise‘s annual March for Marriage.
I’ve got to say, I was impressed. Not just by the number of people who marched- though there were thousands. Or the palpable enthusiasm and optimism throughout the day. Or by the absolutely lovely support from passers-by. Not that all of those things weren’t impressive.
I was, aside from all those things, impressed by how Noise addressed the very things I had been worrying about. Marriage equality is a campaign with a huge momentum- where better to highlight voices like anti-homophobic bullying group the Butterfly Project? How about this wonderful speech from TENI‘s Leslie Sherlock on trans marriage rights?
What she said.
But enough about that serious malarkey. Today is Monday, and Monday is not for seriousness. So have some pics instead, starting with your loyal blogstress:
And finally, highlights of the march from LGBT Noise. We give good march!