Gender identity has always been fluid, but in no other era has this fact been discussed so prominently and so widely. From complaints about ‘snowflakes’ saying that there are too many genders, to outright transphobic policy, trans people and the oppression they face is in the public eye now more than ever.
LUCIA BLAKE is a performance artist and trans activist from Liverpool – I met her when we went to the same drama class as teens. As the only two shy, slightly emo weirdos, we were naturally drawn together. After not seeing Lucia for several years, I began to see whispers of her name in the media. After moving to London, Lucia has been making headlines for her activism in the name of trans rights. Her group, Transmissions, staged a protest fashion show at London Fashion Week earlier this year, calling for non-tokenistic representation in the fashion industry. Sporting a pair of horns, which seem to naturally sprout from a beautiful, demonic head, Lucia carried signs which read “fuck your all-cis runway” and “trans inclusivity now”.
Now, she has made history by organising London’s first ever Trans pride. Normative gender is one of the most violent concepts in existence – it marginalises anybody who falls outside of the norm. This has implications for everyone, most of all trans women, who have always been at the forefront of the gay rights movement. Lucia Blake is yet another name that we should remember if we ever live to see the day where gender is understood to be the fluid and self-determined concept that it is.
When and how did Transmissions begin?
Transmissions began in August 2018 due to a lack of trans+ spaces that were inclusive of all gender identities and intersex people, as well as being free from the fetishisation of trans women by cis men.
Your protest at LFW was well received – what is the role of style in your life, and how does it connect with your activism?
Style is probably the biggest signifier of our identities a lot of the time, it’s how we say, ‘This is me I’m a woman, I’m a man, I’m non-binary, I wear recycled fabrics because I care about climate change or I wear nothing but PVC because I’m sexually empowered’. It’s a comment to society about who you are, and the collective style or the fashions of today reflect collective cultural movements. I think one of the biggest revolutions of our time is the one of gender, and style is both a tool and a signifier of that.
Tell us all about the first London Trans Pride – how and why are you making this happen?
People think I’m doing this as a diss to Gay Pride, but I’m not at all. Yeh, Pride has its problems with pink washing, police presence and economic exclusion, but we’re mainly starting this because it’s just harder to meet other trans people at Gay Pride. You know, you’re still standing in a crowd of cis people being the odd one out and feeling like an outcast. I wanna stand in a crowd of thousands of trans+ and intersex people and for one day in my life, feel normal.
Why is a Trans Pride needed?
Current political climates towards trans+ people are unacceptable. We’re beaten and murdered all over the world, especially trans women of colour. Even in the UK, which professes to a progressive safe haven for LGBTQI+ – despite enforcing transphobia/homophobia worldwide through colonisation – our existences are still up for “debate”. We are denied medical access, the media slanders us, our employment rates are low and our suicide rates are high. We’re sending a message out to the world – especially trans children – that things can get better, no one is alone and there’s a family out here waiting for them and fighting for them.