Protesters took to Manchester’s St Peter’s Square July 11th to campaign against the Government’s response against the trans and non-binary community, as well as its handling of proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act (GRA).
Hundreds of people turned up to the event, which was organised by the Sparkle charity, with signs expressing everything from ‘Trans Rights are Human Rights’ to ‘This is a Movement, Not a Moment’.
The Manchester Sisters were there, of course, including two Postulants. These are our ‘beginners’ in the Sister world, who come out with us to experience Sister life, but are not yet official members of the order.
We’re always very proud of our Postulants and do all we can to encourage and nuture them, with the hope that they will become official Sisters in the very near future!
Here we have two views about the protest from Postulant Donna Matrix and Postulant Benjaovah Minnie.
Postulant Benjaovah Minnie
“It can feel like a powerless time to be alive. We can feel trapped in our homes, our lives, and the world we were dealt. Once in a while, there are spots of hope where you really can help change the world for the better. Maybe not change it for you personally, but for people that you love, the people who need help, the 70%.
I am not a trans person, but I am non-binary, a close cousin to the trans community in the LGBTQIA+ family tree. I have friends and loved ones sprinkled throughout the community and understand how difficult it can be to feel heard in such a bustling, layered community.
When the sisters proposed we attend a public demonstration in support of trans rights, it felt like a chance to visibly stand with our trans siblings and friends.
I was possibly too wrapped up in my own little world to really take in what we were about to do, but I was reminded about the importance of community even in such isolating times.
Meeting up with my sisters was like a big stretch after a long nap. It helped wake me up and refocus my energy into something that mattered more than my little world: our community.
Once we all manifested into our sinister sister alter identities, we made swift movement to the Central Library. After a bit of mingling and meeting up with friends, we eagerly listened to the speakers.
Over the course of four hours we stood and listened to each and every speaker. Naturally, we took the opportunity to keep each other on our toes with the occasional sisterly snide comment at one another and prank, but we never lost focus of why we were there.
It was important for each of us to stand by our trans family and listen to everyone. The trans community is so often ignored or passed over, we owed it to each speaker to hear them, listen to them, and applaud in support. It was a long four hours for our feet, but four hours well worth standing for.
I think what affected me the most was how different it was to hear speakers telling their truths in person rather than online. It can feel overwhelming and numbing to read post after post about death and statistics, it can all just blur.
But being there in person reminded me that these people are real, their stories are real, and the names of the dead being read are also real. Being at the demonstration brought back the humanity to the cause.
I knew many of the speakers and hearing their fears and exhaustion over this debate of their rights and humanity was a refreshing sobering not unlike a cold bath.
The experience wasn’t one I could watch a video of, like, and share then keep scrolling.
It was one to be experienced, lived, and witnessed to remind me and the people there that they are not alone, they are real, and change is possible even in seemingly impossible times.
Postulant Donna Matrix
This was an amazing event to be part of for my first manifestation with the Sisters.
It was truly humbling to hear all the voices who had experienced pain and suffering for just being who they are. As a Queer woman myself I’ve been through my fair share of discrimination but I don’t have the government telling me that if I want to be queer I need to go in front of several doctors, get a psychiatrist assessment to deem my own existence.
Trans folx have to do this every day to prove they exist. This hardship leads to the average life expectancy of a trans person to be significantly lower than the national average.
That is not good enough. I was proud today to stand with my sisters supporting our siblings. Trans lives matter, Black lives matter ✊🏿
Anyone looking out their balcony at the side of the canal on that sunny Saturday morning would not have expected to see a group of people including seven Sisters in varying stages of undress.
It must’ve been quite a sight! We donned our heels, habits and happiness and headed down to St.Peters Square to join our fellow activists in support of our trans siblings and protest against the proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act – GRA.
As this was my first ever manifested outing as Postulant Sister Donna Matrix I was filled with nervous energy, surrounded by Sisters I jollied on waving at passers-by, fellow protestors and the occasional confused taxi driver.
We reached our destination which was filled with gorgeous colours, flags and some amazing signs, all celebrating trans and gender non-conforming lives on what should have been the 16th celebration weekend of Sparkle, the national transgender charity which promotes a positive public image of the Trans community within the UK and beyond.
We heard from some fantastic speakers including charity founders, actors, poets, musicians and members of the public speaking with passion about the trans community and what the government could do to protect trans lives within the UK.
This included poet Tori Hermione Baker, who led the crowd with a chant of ‘I am beautiful, I am worthy, I am enough’.
Plenty of photographs were taken of us and in particular of Sister Mona Key and her beautiful new habit with a polka-dotted progress flag coloured skirt, plus we had a wonderful shout out from the organisers towards the end.
Three hours of standing and the Sisters were parched, in need of tea and cake so off to the village we galavanted, if slightly disturbed by a rogue offering from a passing bird of prey dropping a half mangled pigeon onto Sister Mona’s new skirt.
This was not the blessing we had hoped for, but we were being called by cake and a good sit down so we soldiered on!
The Richmond Tea Rooms gave us sanctuary for tea, cocktails, cake and of course some giggles!
With a quick visit to Alan in Sackville gardens, we ended the day on a high and full of cake!