I am heartbroken to have to write that my friend Kate Collins passed away the other evening.
Kate was a big presence in the trans scene in Manchester, eventually setting up the Manchester Minxes as a trans social group that would meet up regularly in the Gay Village. She also promoted trans awareness at work and had her office represented at Sparkle, the UK's annual national trans celebration.
|Kate at work|
I first met Kate at Sparkle in 2010 and every time I went to Manchester she was there with her wife, who has always been a kind and encouraging ally to all us trans girls. A good organiser, Kate would arrange meet-ups in restaurants and clubs, and dancing in Napoleons club would usually round off a night out. We had some lovely meals out over the years.
|Kate and I at Sparkle in 2015|
When Covid came and the world was locked down, Kate set up TGirl Zoom chats every Saturday night. Knowing you had that regular commitment to get yourself dolled up for a video chat with the girls helped us keep sane and balanced when so little else was predictable, and was just what we needed to give our femininity a boost when the lockdown attitude was to let your appearance go. On that subject, Kate could wear short dresses with conviction as she had great legs (and I'm not jealous at all, no).
Kate could be a strong campaigner for rights, not just of trans people but cyclists as well - she hated inconsiderate, bad motorists in particular. But she had a good sense of humour, too. Her favourite trick was to pull her "Helen Lederer face". I haven't got a photo of her doing it but this is on the way to it:
I have arrived back in England after nearly four years away and I had hoped beyond hope I would see her before the end that she made clear was coming, but I just missed being able to and that makes me doubly sad. But I hope to see her kind wife soon.
Thanks for all the many good times, Kate, and for all the things you organised for the trans community in North West England as well as for all your friends. You are at peace and out of pain now and I will miss you terribly. My love and condolences to your wonderful wife, your son and daughter-in-law and baby grandchild (you called yourself "glamparent"!) and to all your many friends, colleagues and everyone else you touched. Ta-ra, chuck ... your own favourite way of saying goodbye.