Spotlight - Sparkle


Sparkle – The national transgender celebration is the worlds largest transgender event. For the last 14 years we’ve been celebrating with the trans community in July in Manchester, UK. The Sparkle mission is to promote a positive public image of the trans community within society. Our aim is to build confidence and resilience, to develop understanding and cohesion in society and to challenge stigma.

The Sparkle event attracts trans people and trans allies locally and from around the world. We showcase trans and trans ally entertainment during the weekend, and we host free educational talks on trans related issues.

When and where do you meet?

In July 2015 Sparkle welcomed over 10,000 attendees – making Sparkle is the largest free trans event in the world. Sparkle The National Transgender Charity organises the Sparkle Weekend celebration in July each year. We also hold events through-out the year to hold fundraising and trans awareness events.

How did The Sparkle Weekend come about?

Sparkle was founded in 2003, originally as a day to celebrate all things transgender. By the following year the event had moved to its current weekend format and we now provide a full schedule from Friday afternoon right through to Sunday night!

Are there particular milestones that you’ve celebrated?

In March 2013 we became a Charity which was a huge step for the organisation. In 2013 when we launched the former Youth Zone. The following year we had out 10th Anniversary event and it was a scorcher - the Manchester weather didn't let us down!

What can people expect at this year’s Sparkle weekend?

Sparkle In the Park captures the Sparkle Transgender Celebration perfectly. Sackville Gardens provides the perfect location for live entertainment on stage, including trans and non-trans singers and bands. We’ll have a range of hosts and other events on the stage to keep everyone entertained though-out Saturday and Sunday.

One of our new highlights is having the family zone in association with Mermaids the trans youth charity, who we are very excited to have on board for 2016 specifically aimed at those aged 4-19 and their families. Jam packed with a Bouncy castle and slide, blow up sports areas, party games, our "Saturday Tuck Shop" lucky dips and chill out zone. Join us on Sunday for the fantastic "Picnic In The Park". The family zone is open from 12pm - 6pm on Saturday and Sunday!

What advice would you give to someone questioning whether to come along to Sparkle?

Sparkle is a fantastic diverse celebration, with a vibrant outlook on being trans, We encourage everyone to come whoever you are, however you identify and we welcome friends family and allies too! And of course access to the Sparkle is FREE – making it the largest free transgender event in the world. Come and be a part of something special and SPARKLE!

You can find out more about Sparkle on their website here, or check out their Facebook page!