Spotlight: Afternoon T.E.A.

What is Afternoon T.E.A?

Afternoon TEA is a youth group for trans and gender questioning people aged 16-25.

When and where do you meet?

We meet on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month, 3-5pm, at the Joyce Layland LGBT Centre on Sidney St, just off Oxford Road.

Can you talk to us briefly about The Proud Trust?

The Proud Trust is a youth organisation which facilitates LGBT youth groups across the North, as well as engaging in training and education for professionals who work with young people, and education for young people themselves. We also run the Sidney St Café in the youth centre from Monday to Friday, which helps to fund the work that we do.

How did the group come about?

In 2011 I felt there was a gap in provision for trans young people - all the groups at the time were for over 18s - so I decided to start the group, with assistance from others in the organisation. We had a launch event in February 2012 and it's grown from there to around 30 people each session.

Are there particular events or milestones that you’ve celebrated?

We've just had our 4th birthday! We've also just come back from our annual residential weekend, which was great fun, relaxing (sometimes!) and really cool to see people making new friends and being able to be themselves for a full weekend. We also take part in the Manchester Day Parade each year and dress up in some funky outfits.

What advice would you give to someone questioning whether to come along to Afternoon T.E.A?

I'd probably suggest to drop me an email (sam.cresswell@theproudtrust.org) and I would usually get back to an email from a young person within a couple of days. I have a Facebook account you can add me on, and I could then add you to the secret Afternoon TEA Facebook group so you could see who is going and what's going on. Lots of new people also meet me at 12.30 at the centre for a brew instead of coming at 1, as it helps them feel a bit more settled. Finally, we also have some friendly faces in the group who've volunteered to be 'buddies' - basically someone who would sit next to you, talk to you and help you feel involved when you first come along. Most people who come are really anxious their first time, so if you feel like that you're not alone!