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Diversity, Equality and Inclusion

ITV Pridecast: The social event helping trans people live freely

In recent years the rights of people who identify as transgender have been big talking points. Much of the conversation has been centred upon the extent to which trans people can freely be themselves in a society that is accustomed to a cisgendered outlook. That is an experience which is of course shared by many people across the LGBTQ+ community, and it highlights the massive value of safe spaces for people.

This is something espoused by the Leeds First Friday social event which is a monthly gathering of trans, non-binary and gender-fluid people in West Yorkshire. Organisers say around 150 people attend regularly on the 1st Friday of every month, making it one of, if not the biggest trans meet-ups in the UK.

During the event, trans, non-binary and gender-fluid people have the chance to come together and embrace their true identity in some of Leeds’ best known venues. And it’s not just those from the local area who attend. People from up-and-down the country make their way to the city for an event not just open to trans people, but also their partners, allies and friends.

To highlight the importance of Leeds First Friday to the trans community, Sophie Scott co-hosts this episode of the ITV Pridecast from one of the recent socials. Alongside her is Ash Palmisciano, and as a regular attendee of LFF, Sophie invites Ash to meet some of those who play a vital role in running the event and discover the huge benefits it has on the trans community.

During the episode, Sophie and Ash also share their own stories of being trans. Ash, who featured on the Pridecast earlier this year, reflects on his career as one of the most recognisable faces in the trans community, playing Emmerdale’s, Matty Barton. Sophie, who started working for ITV in September 2021, is part of the Content Services team and helps share some of ITV’s best content around the UK and across the world. She also talks about what it means to embrace her true identity and how LFF has played a part in that.

Both also discuss the importance of Transgender Awareness Week and Transgender Day of Remembrance which takes place in November. They chat about the value of both occasions in reminding people of the struggles and also the achievements of the trans community and how much progress is still needed in society.

If you would like to learn more about transgender issues, you can visit the following websites:

Genderedintelligence.co.uk works to increase the understanding of gender diversity and improve the lives of trans people.

Gires.org.uk has a comprehensive list of transgender support groups and websites.

Mermaidsuk.org.uk offers transgender support for children and young adults.

Mindlinetrans.org.uk provides an emotional support helpline for anyone identifying as transgender, non-binary and genderfluid. It is also there to support family members, friends, colleagues and carers.

Episode links:


Apple Podcasts


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