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London’s inaugural Trans Pride 1
Photography Netti Hurley

How to be an ally, by London Trans Pride attendees and Brooke Candy

Watch Brooke and others who came out for the inaugural event discuss the urgent state of trans rights right now

On a hot September day last weekend in London, a sea of blue, pink, and white made its way through the city – punctuated with the colours of the trans flag, a huge celebratory crowd came out to mark the capital’s first ever trans pride march.

Born out of the distressing hatred that engulfed last year’s Pride – where a group of anti-trans activists somehow took over the parade – Saturday’s (September 14) event was a defiant declaration that trans people deserve to take up space and openly celebrate their identities.

In honour of the historic event, we sent avant-garde rapper and performance artist Brooke Candy – fiercely kitted in a black bikini, a leather jacket emblazoned with the words ‘trans rights are human rights’, and a Dazed mic – to speak to some of the thousands of people marching, and get some tips on how to be a good ally to the trans community. Read the main takeaways here, and watch Candy’s interviews below.


Instead of asking trans people to educate you about themselves, spend some time researching their experience and ways you can support them. “We are in the world of the internet,” marcher Jamie told Candy, “we have Google! If you want to know all the ways that we’re struggling and all the ways you can help us, the best thing to do is take some time out of your day and actually research it yourself, rather than putting that emotional labour on trans people.”

Tom agreed, explaining that it’s “not the responsibility of minorities to give you all the information that you need to be an ally”. Tom also asserted the importance of finding resources written by trans and queer people, “so you know the source is legit”.


Too often, minorities are forced to debate their identities with people who have no understanding of their experience – looking at you, Piers Morgan – so one key thing to do in order to be an ally is to listen to what trans people have to say, and raise their voices above your own. “The media in the UK is so transphobic,” Voices4 London trustee Joe explained, “and (trans issues aren’t) being discussed in a way that actually benefits us, so to be a good ally, support trans people and give them the voice they haven’t been given.”

“Shut up and listen to what people are telling you,” Triv Tetra asserted. “Don’t speak out loud about loads of stuff if you don’t know what you’re actually saying.” Public figures like Dazed’s LGBTQ+ editor-at-large Shon Faye2019 Dazed100 runner up ContraPoints, and activist and model Munroe Bergdorf have carved vital spaces for their voices, despite idiot trolls trying to shout them down.

“Depending on your level of privilege and the space that you’re in,” Tom told Candy, “it might be better to make space for others as opposed to taking up space of your own. You can show solidarity just with your presence. Sometimes there are other people whose voices need to be amplified more than others – trans people of colour, for example.”

“It’s not the responsibility of minorities to give you all the information that you need to be an ally” – Tom


One easy way to show your allyship is to donate money to trans people’s transition surgery crowdfunders, grassroots organisations, or charities. “Even the smallest donation would make a lot of difference,” Andrea Di Giovanni said. Marcher Adumi urged the importance of donating money to fund queer spaces: “Go to these spaces, talk to people, and ask questions!”

“Put your money where your mouth is,” Spiritual Baddie continued. “We’re not just here at Pride, we’re always here – 12 months a year – and we should be represented.” 


Knowing the organisations and resources that offer much-needed support to trans people is vital in being an ally, not only in the sense that you can donate to these places, but also to enable you to offer advice about where your trans friend can turn at a time of need. 

Mermaids is a brilliant charity around trans youth,” Jamie affirmed, “and they have really great information about things like non-binary identities.” Mermaids UK was established in 1995 by a group of parents whose children didn’t conform to gender norms. The organisation campaigns for the recognition of gender dysphoria in young people and calls for improvement in medical and social services. According to Spiritual Baddie, another key organisation to know is Spectra: “They specialise in sexual and mental health with trans people, and have counselling services, free sexual health checks, and a mentoring programme.”

“If you live in London, we run a DIY activists network called Transmissions,” the activist group’s founder and trans pride organiser Lucia Blake told Candy. “We host weekly workshops, we get clothes to trans people, access to healthcare.” Transmissions also calls for better representation on the world’s runways, previously staging a trans-inclusive runway show outside LFW HQ, and throwing an alternative Fashion Week after party. Blake also shouted out renowned LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall, as well as the importance of “keeping up to date with trans issues” which can be done by following people like trans performance artist and Dazed100 alum Travis Alabanza.

As well as spotlighting Voices4 – “they’re a really incredible grassroots organisation” – Tom suggested some LGBTQ+ websites that all allies should know. “Them is amazing, it’s a social publishing platform that posts loads about queer rights. Queerty is also a really good source.” Other sites include PinkNews and Advocate.


Although this might sound like something you’re certain you’d do, trans people are often left isolated when being harassed in public. “If you’re on public transport and you see somebody harassing a trans person, say something,” Di Giovanni said. “Even the slightest thing (in support) would make us feel so much safer, and for our mental health it makes us feel like somebody cares about us.” 

Blake echoed this sentiment: “If you see someone laughing at a trans person, or mocking them, call them out! Humiliate them and be like, ‘bullying isn’t cool actually’ – just completely put them in their place.” The Transmissions founder also emphasised the importance of “raising your kids to be accepting, and educating them on trans issues”. 


Being an ally is also just the same as being a friend. Treat all trans people as you would any friends – ask them how their day was, find out if something is bothering them, just be there. “Asking ‘what do you need right now?’ is always lovely to hear,” Jamie told Candy. “Sometimes it might just be like, ‘I need a hug, I need to be able to talk about what’s going on, maybe I just need to take my shoes off because they fucking hurt’. It might just be that, but it could also be emotional support as well.”

“Don’t be a cunt,” Farah summarised. “Just love people for who they are, not the shoes they wear, the dick they rock, or the pussy they rock. We love pussy, but we hate cunts.”