Everyone at Manchester Pride is devastated by the damage to the National Trans Memorial, during the Manchester Pride Festival. We are sorry this happened on our watch and are in conversation with Sparkle to ensure that a new, resilient memorial is put in place.
Sackville Gardens is home to three significant memorials for our communities - the Beacon of Hope, the National Trans Memorial and a statue of Alan Turing - and it is important that those attending the Festival have free and open access to these during their Pride celebrations to reflect and pay their own tributes.
On Sunday evening (28th August 2022) we were alerted to a fire at the National Trans Memorial, teams responded quickly and the fire was extinguished.
In accordance with Health & Safety protocol, all incidents that happen at our events are investigated and reported on thoroughly and properly with the relevant stakeholders. The initial investigation from the Health & Safety Officer who attended the fire indicates that the fire was started accidentally. The investigation is ongoing and Manchester Pride will, where necessary, implement any identified changes to our risk management strategy at future events.
While the fire was an accident, and the council has removed the National Trans Memorial from the garden strictly for safety reasons, it still really hurts to see it go.
In response to this heartbreaking incident, Manchester Pride has taken swift action. We have already offered:
In future, Manchester Pride will continue to support Sparkle and local trans communities however we can. This includes, but is not limited to:
Our community is under attack in this country, hate crimes are on a terrifying rise and trans and non-binary legal and political futures are precarious at best. We don’t need this right now. We need peace. We need hope. And right now especially, we need action.
The trans community is integral to everything Manchester Pride stands for and we hope to play our part in ensuring that we have a long-lasting legacy honouring our trans family and friends who have been lost.
As Manchester Pride’s Inclusivity Development Manager, but also as a genderfluid person myself, I am hopeful that our communities can work together to create a new National Trans Memorial, an important endeavour in our shared fight for trans and non-binary liberation.
Dr. Christopher Owen (he/they)
Inclusivity Development Manager
Sparkle is a National Transgender Charity that also organises the annual Sparkle Weekend, hosted in Sackville Gardens in the heart of Manchester’s Gay Village.
The Charity also organises Manchester’s Transgender Day of Remembrance service, one of the largest events of its kind in the UK, and offers guidance and training to businesses, public sector organisations, and educational institutions on how to support gender variant colleagues, customers, service users, students, and other stakeholders.
Sparkle is run by a team of passionate and dedicated volunteers, the Charity also undertakes projects throughout the year to further its aims of promoting a positive representation of the trans*, non-binary/genderfluid and intersex community.
To find out more about Sparkle visit: sparkle.org.uk