By Thomas White, organiser of Trans Pride
On 28 July, Dublin had its first annual Trans Pride. It was organised from the beginning as a grassroots protest by and for Trans people. It sought to bring Pride back to its radical roots as a protest movement. It rejected the corporate veneer that suffocates most Pride events, with companies that carry out queerpbobic policies allowed to march or take part in what for them is nothing but an exercise in corporate pinkwashing.
The protest marched to Fairview park, following in the footsteps of Dublin’s first pride 35 years ago. This was a march against violence following the brutal murder of Declan Flynn in the park itself and the subsequent suspended sentences handed down to his killers.
Over 1,000 people attended the first Dublin Trans Pride march, including the opening and closing rallies.
Defiant and angry
There was a defiant and angry mood, and the overall the tone of the day was optimistic and determined. There was participation from a host of different LGBTQ+ organisations, community groups, trade unions, student groups, anti-racist organisations, housing campaign groups. The Socialist Party, ROSA and Solidarity also had a vibrant presence on the protest.
Trans Pride was a protest that demanded real change and equality for Trans people, and put that political message at its core with the central theme being bodily autonomy. This was also relevant in the wake of the historic repeal referendum which saw a huge majority of people endorse choice and bodily autonomy for pregnant people. It was necessary to have a specific march to highlight the needs of the Trans community not only because of the toothless and corporatised nature of establishment Pride, but because of the severe nature of Trans oppression and the unique needs and demands of our community.
Opposing rainbow capitalism
This included the need for adequate access to healthcare services, including gender confirmation surgery and HRT via an informed consent model; the building of social housing (an important demand given the disproportionately high number of homeless youth who are LGBTQ+ in general but specifically Trans); the right of all people over 16 to self-determine their own gender marker without interference from the state; as well as highlighting the plight of LGBTQ+ asylum seekers and refugees. Our demand was clear- we want LGBTQ liberation not rainbow capitalism. Our struggle is an international struggle and we can not rest until we are all free.