The winners of the Activist/Advocate of the Year honours have been announced at Queensland’s annual Trans Community Awards.
Hosted by community group Many Genders One Voice, this year’s awards were held online on Sunday night.
The ceremony was opened with a Welcome to Country song by respected Turrbal and Jagera elder Aunty Dawn Daylight.
Presenters Jade Mirabito and Beksis – the alter ego of DJ Rebecca Bateman – awarded the annual honours.
Young Trans Person of the Year went to Theresa-John Jones.
“It’s so great to see our young trans people shining,” said Mirabito.
Regional Trans Activist/Advocate of the Year, a new category for 2020, was awarded to Emily Wells of Mount Isa in remote north-west Queensland.
In a speech read by the presenters, Wells said that although “trans people living in the bush are forgotten”, they deserve “no less than the rights enjoyed by cisgender people”.
Brisbane poet Frances gave a reading of a heartfelt poem about diversity, before removing her wig to reveal her head painted in the vibrant colours of the trans pride flag.
The award for Non-Binary Activist/Advocate of the Year was taken out by Navin Jayasekera.
Jayasekera said in a provided speech that they were honoured to receive the award, which they shared with “all LGBTIQ+ activists in Queensland”.
Presented by Peter Black of the Queensland Council for LGBTI Health, Trans Activist/Advocate of the Year was a close contest, with community worker Evie Ryder winning by just one vote.
Ryder acknowledged the contributions of other activists and said that she loved “seeing all the amazing work that people in our community are doing and celebrating that work”.
The winners of the remaining awards categories, including Service Provider of the Year, Medical/Health Professional of the Year, Event of the Year, and Ally of the Year, will be announced in the future.