In conversation with Dani St James (@danistjames), founder and chair of charity Not A Phase - Supporting The Lives of Trans Adults Across The UK.
It’s Pride Month, which means June is dedicated to the celebration of the rights of LGBTQ+ community all around the world.
But where did Pride come from and how did the origins of Pride start?
Pride originated from the 1969 Stonewall riots where the LQBTG+ community fought with the police for 6 days over equal rights.
It was said to be a watershed moment for the gay community and today is celebrated around the world by millions in the form of events and parades (this year due to the pandemic not at its usual level). The overriding message is education on pride history, teaching tolerance of others and freedom on the right to love who you choose with pride.
To help educate and raise awareness for Pride, we spoke to Dani St James, founder and Chair of charity ‘Not a Phase’, on supporting the lives of trans people in the UK.
Dani explained to us that Not A Phase was started as a way of filling the gaps in support for trans people within the community. Dani said it started “As a reaction to the adverse changes for trans people in the healthcare system, the protection of the single sex basic act was causing trauma and difficulty - it’s currently a difficult time to be a trans person in the UK”.
Dani went on to explain that support drops off for trans people post 18. Not A Phase wanted to aid not only socially and in the community, but with career prospects in the form of work-based placements. Not A Phase snowballed from that point and now works directly with companies on strengthening their diversity strategies and analyzing how businesses can be more exclusive.
There’s lots of exciting plans coming up with wellness events in July providing health and fitness advice, confidence workshops and even self-defence classes. In August there’s community safe spaces being rolled out in cities across the UK which will provide a safe place for trans people to gain support and speak to like-minded people.
We asked Dani what advice she had for anyone struggling with gender identity. Dani says “Just remember, it really does get better. There’s a whole community waiting for you, Not A Phase are waiting for you, there’s lots of amazing opportunities coming up and down the country and we are here for you”
We are supporting Not A Phase by raising awareness and donation, and if you would like to get involved, then head over to their website and social pages:
Charity No 1193381