‘This is trans power’: Why the people behind Manchester Pride’s opening act say it’s time to let go of the hate and celebrate
Manchester Pride, which kicks off today.Explaining where the idea came from, Leo says that the aim was to create a queer dance party ‘that is uplifting and celebratory, and celebrates trans people on our own terms.’ Notable names on the bill for this year’s event include Heartstopper’s Yasmin Finney, viral drag superstar Juno Birch and performer and Mr Gay England’s first ever trans finalist, Chiyo.But while party-goers can expect to be entertained by an evening packed with DJs, drag, burlesque, cabaret, activism and music, exactly what will happen on the night remains an exciting mystery.‘I’d love to tell you, but I don’t know what’s going to happen – we chat to the artists, give them the theme and literally just get the party started,’ says Trans Filth & Joy fellow organiser Kate O’Donnell, Creative Director of Trans Creative. According to Leo, who goes by the pronouns they/them, what can be assured is that as well as being an entertaining event for trans people, it will be safe and supportive, too.‘Creating a space which is really fun and affirming feels incredibly urgent and important right now,’ they explain. ‘We want to give trans people and their friends – but in particular trans and non-binary people – space to relax, be free and feel wonderful about themselves,’ adds Kate. For her, having Manchester Pride champion the trans community in this way is a huge step in moving further towards positive visibility and representation.‘They’ve put us right at the front,’ she explains. ‘They’ve done some really brilliant grassroots stuff this year, with some elements of risk.