New intersectional community for trans people and allies, Siblings of Marsha, online and in Southampton

New intersectional community for trans people and allies, Siblings of Marsha, online and in Southampton

Siblings of Marsha is a new intersectional community of trans individuals and allies, including family and friends. It currently operates through Facebook, with in-person events to be based around Southampton.

The founders explained “We centre people who are often left out of mainstream Pride events due to disability, or who are alienated within the wider LGBTQ+ community due to other factors that may mean they are multiply-marginalised.”

The name of the group references activist Marsha P. Johnson, one of the best-known participants in the Stonewall Riots.

The founding members have branched out from another nationwide group – Mad Chatters – a group of neurodivergent LGBTQ+ people whose main focus is mental wellbeing. Mad Chatters was created in 2021 by Quinn Brown, founder of ‘In With The Bins’, a campaign that pushes for sanitary waste bins to be placed in all gendered public toilets.

Siblings of Marsha has formed because one of the members of Mad Chatters, Iqra, recently moved from Birmingham to Southampton after getting married and has faced barriers in other online and real life spaces locally, especially in trying to connect with others who share their cultural background. 

“None of the local Pride organisations appear to have any global majority or Muslim leaders or members,” said the founders.

“Iqra, an autistic genderqueer person who is largely housebound due to the nature of their disabilities and Covid-shielding, tried to make connections with other Black Caribbean and Muslim LGBTQ+ people in other community Facebook groups, only to be met with discrimination and bullying, leaving them feeling further alienated. This has detrimentally affected their mental health and made them determined to create what is clearly lacking – a truly inclusive and accessible group that will intentionally and robustly create safe spaces for members to enjoy.”

Siblings of Marsha aims to bring together local LGBTQ+ people who face alienation, with the particular aim of providing a safe space for Black, global majority ethnic, and Muslim queer people.

Throughout Ramadan they will be hosting an alternative Queer Taraweeh on Zoom, and there are plans for a local Covid-safe, in-person community family fun day in August. Details to be confirmed.

For more information, visit the Siblings of Marsha Facebook group by clicking here.

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