London

London's first Trans Pride support 'overwhelming'

Trans Pride London Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Organisers estimated about 1,500 people attended the capital's first Trans Pride rally

As the capital of London's LGBT+ scene, it was only fitting that Soho Square was the gathering point for hundreds of people supporting the city's first Trans Pride event.

"It's been absolutely incredible and overwhelming. I was not expecting this many people to turn up and to march with such unity," said organiser Lucia Blayke.

"The sun's out and the sky's blue, if you look at everyone's faces it's just big smiles," she said, adding the response to the event was far more positive than she had expected.

"I was concerned about safety, concerned about numbers but it's been really smooth, it's been safe and we've had no problems yet," she said.

Image caption Organiser Lucia Blayke said about 1,500 people supported the event

Lucia said about 1,500 people supported the event.

"For trans people it's a lot different being out in public.

"Usually we're scared, we're having things shouted at us, we're humiliated and just really embarrassed.

"Social interactions aren't usually that relaxing so today is all about being together in public and keeping each other safe and uplifted."

'It's the one day we're not outcasts'

The sentiment was echoed by Kasey Owens who said: "Everyone here knows what you're going through, it was definitely needed."

The event had a real celebratory feel to it, with many trans and non-binary people being supported by friends.

"I've only recently come out as trans and it was the first event for trans so we all came down to celebrate it," said Sambo.

Image caption Kasey attended the Pride with partner Ashley
Image caption Sambo (with cap on) was at the event with friends
Image caption The event ended with a rally in Soho Square
Image caption Many took to the stage to express the need for more trans rights

Friend Susan added: "I think that was a massive thing because there's so many people here that aren't trans and it's just lovely that everyone's come together and it's nice, it's just lovely. It's really nice, spread the love."

For Anna, Trans Pride was a much needed event.

Image caption Anna attended the event with a large trans flag

"It is an amazing Pride and unfortunately it's a necessary Pride because trans rights are not necessarily the same as everyone else's rights," she said.

"My hope is for equality and for people to realise that we're normal, we're just like everyone else, nothing different."

The event started with a march from Hyde Park Corner to Soho Square.

Anna said this played a big part of the event.

"I found it empowering walking on the streets of London, having the streets closed down just for us, which is essential for every single Pride," she said.

"For a first Pride it was a big Pride but I'd rather it was even bigger and if they had everyone joining in because everyone should be fighting for everyone's rights."

So will Anna get her wish and have another one next year?

"I think today has been successful enough to sow the seeds for the legacy for years to come," said Lucia.

"I want people to take from today belief and confidence within themselves and apply it to their everyday lives. When they're running low on that strength, just know we're going to do it again next year," she added.

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