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Trans People of Colour Engagement Work

We’re actively engaging with trans and non-binary people of colour, as well as organisations leading on anti-racism work and community building in the LGBT+ sector. We’re committed to making sure all the work that we do also advocates for and amplifies the experiences of TPoC. We want Mermaids to be a space where young trans people of colour feel welcomed, acknowledged, supported and empowered.

Finding spaces where I get to fully be myself, embraced and celebrated as a Black non-binary person, has been instrumental to my wellbeing and growth. To be at Mermaids, working to create more spaces and initiatives to support and empower young trans people of colour, feels truly amazing.” 

João (they/them) – TPoC Youth Engagement Officer

Mermaids has three overall objectives, supported and guided by our Trans People of Colour Youth Engagement department. We will:

  1. Ensure that young people of colour are able to seek support
  2. Work directly with young trans people of colour and grassroots organisations offering direct support to advocate for the specific lived experience of QTPoC youth
  3. Ensure that young trans people of colour are acknowledged, supported and empowered

How are we making change?

We recognise that gender is just one piece in the entire puzzle that makes up our identities. Race and ethnicity, faith, nationality and immigration status, disability, sexuality and many other facets influence how we navigate the world and experience life. The intersection of different identities might grant us power and privilege, or it might create obstacles in the form of oppression and discrimination.

Even though trans, non-binary and gender diverse people of colour have played a leading role in the advancement of LGBT+ rights, they have been historically excluded from the wider – and often most visible – narrative relating to trans rights.

The erasure of TPoC experiences is often used as a vehicle to further spread damaging misconceptions. For example, the idea that being LGBT+ is a western or white experience, with no acknowledgement of how western colonialism enforced rigid gender roles, homophobia and transphobia in cultures that had a rich history of gender diversity. It also conveys that the experiences of white trans and non-binary people is universal, with no consideration for how our cultural and ethnic backgrounds influence how we perceive and experience gender.

We believe that not addressing this reality, only contributes to the marginalisation of trans people of colour. Recognising the importance of this work, and our own journey and shortcomings as a charity to fully represent people of colour motivated us to create a department dedicated to TPoC engagement. We want to do more and we want to do better.

We’re actively engaging with trans and non-binary people of colour, as well as organisations leading on anti-racism work and community building in the LGBT+ sector. We’re committed to making sure all the work that we do also advocates for and amplifies the experiences of TPoC. We want Mermaids to be a space where young trans people of colour feel welcomed, acknowledged, supported and empowered.

If you are currently working or are interested in developing work that centres and empowers young trans people of colour, we are very keen to hear from you. You might be developing a project we can support, or you might want to share resources, suggestions or feedback. Whatever it may be, please do get in touch.

Get Involved

*We use ‘trans’ as an umbrella term for those who are transgender, non-binary, genderqueer, genderfluid, agender, are of non-Western gender identities, and those who have a trans history.