Trans Pride Leeds marches through Leeds city centre to protest for equality

Hundreds of people turned out today (Sunday) for a Trans Pride march in Leeds city centre.

Sunday, 31st March 2019, 4:27 pm
Updated Sunday, 31st March 2019, 6:59 pm
The trans community and allies march through Leeds city centre.

The only march of its kind in Yorkshire, it was organised to coincide with international Trans Day of Visibility, which was set up to celebrate transgender people and protest against inequality.

The demonstration began outside Leeds Art Gallery at 11.30am where several people made speeches.

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From left to right: Kara Alexander-Eames, Felix McGregor, Taylor Cappleman, Rayan and Hannah Burgess.

At 1pm, the march then processed down the Headrow, Vicar Lane, Kirkgate and Wharf Street, finishing at Wharf Chambers where bands from the community were set to host a celebratory evening of music.

The community made their voices heard through chants and songs as they walked through the city.

Evie Grant, 20, from Bradford, said: "Being part of the LGBT community is important but even in that community we get dismissed and marginalised.

"Trans pride is important for us to have a voice."

From left to right: Dylan Wyatt, Evie Grant, Phoebe Wilkinson and Cameron Amber.

Dylan Wyatt, 25, from south Wales moved to Bradford because trans healthcare has not available to him in Wales.

He has made friends within the Yorkshire trans community and said the pride march was a chance to meet more people.

"It's nice to get everyone together, and meet people in different stages of transition", he said, "Trans men are rarely mentioned in the media so it's good to talk to other people.

"I feel as a trans person that if one person from my community does something wrong, they're seen as representative of all of us."

Leeds Trans Pride marchers on Kirkgate.

Hannah Burgess, 20, a student at Hull university, said: "It's nice to be able to be yourself.

"In daily it's more about hiding away to make yourself as acceptable as possible.

"Being among people with shared experiences and people who support us is really important."

Felix McGregor, 18, who had also travelled from Hull explained: "To be able to walk down the street and shout that you're trans and be safe and protected is rare."

Another Hull student Taylor Cappleman, 20, added: "It's really freeing to be unapologetically myself and not have to hide away."

The march was part of wider Trans Pride festival which took place from March 28 to 31, featuring events throughout the city.

Hyde Park Picture House hosted a film night on March 28 and Leeds City Museum hosted an afternoon of stalls, talks and crafts.

Elsewhere in the country similar demonstrations took place to mark Trans Day of Visibility, with marches in Cardiff, Liverpool and Dundee.

Kara Alexander-Eames, 28, who travelled from Sheffield to Leeds said: "It's easy to get down thinking about how we're portrayed in the media and the things people say online.

"Today gives us a chance to shout back, an opportunity to vent."