Queensland community heroes honoured at 2019 Trans Awards

queensland trans community awards trans awards 2019 sportsman hotel transgender non-binary
Photo: Jordan Hirst

Community members, activists and allies have celebrated the annual Trans Community Awards, the night of nights for Brisbane’s trans, gender diverse and non-binary community.

Each year, the event recognises the achievements of activists, groups, events and allies for the local trans, gender diverse, non-binary, brotherboy and sistergirl communities.

At the awards ceremony at the Sportsman Hotel on Sunday night, Vincent Marshall was named Mr Trans 2019.

Maddison Harrington won Ms Trans 2019, and Jade Mirabito was named Mx 2019.

Johnny Valkyrie took home Young Trans Person of the Year.

Dr Fiona Bisshop won Trans Ally of the Year and Medical Professional of the Year.

ATSAQ’s Krissy Johnson was named Trans Activist of the Year, while Brisbane social collective Wendybird won Trans Group of the Year.

Max Mackenzie was named Rural Trans Activist of the Year.

Open Doors Youth Service won Service Provider of the Year.

The Queensland Transgender Network’s Transgender Day of Visibility won Event of the Year at this year’s Trans Awards.

Queensland Health worker wins special achievement award

Joe Debattista received the ATSAQ Community Achievement Award for his advocacy for the trans community in the health sector over many years.

ATSAQ President Gina Mather said, “In the late 80s, early 90s, we had a problem in Brisbane. The girls and guys had to travel to Melbourne every three months for an assessment at their own expense.”

Debattista was a dedicated ally who helped to change that, Gina explained, with his advocacy for new policies and bringing specialists to Brisbane.

“In those days, transgender people had no rights. He was out on a limb,” Gina said.

“He helped us where other people in government feared to tread. He helped so many transgender people over the years, and he’s still involved today.”

The Trans Community Awards began in 2016 and are organised by local group Many Genders One Voice.

“The awards were created to recognise the amazing work and achievements that individuals, service and organisations have done for our diverse communities,” host Rebecca Bateman said.

“This year we saw the second-highest number of votes ever and voting was very close in many of the categories.”

Events in Brisbane for Transgender Awareness Week

Trans Awareness Week is recognised each November to raise visibility of transgender, non-binary and gender diverse people, and address the issues they face.

The week includes the Transgender Day of Remembrance this Wednesday. It began in 1999 to honour the memory of those suffering transphobia and those lost to anti-trans violence.

Many Genders One Voice will host a remembrance ceremony in Brisbane on Wednesday.

Those gathered will view the Story Bridge lit up in the colours of the transgender flag that evening.

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