National recognition for Aylesbury woman who tackled hate crime head on
A brave woman who campaigns for transgender rights and has suffered hate crime herself has been handed a top award for her work.
Earlier this year we reported that Marteene Pringle, who lives in Aylesbury attended Oxford Magistrates Court to see a man who transphobic abusive comments and also spat at her at work, found guilty of the crime.
She told how life can be tough for transgender women, but through her work as an LGBTQI representative for a police working group in Aylesbury, and various transgender charity groups and through her own Facebook group Aylesbury Vale Transgender and Friends community , she has found strength in the community and would like to offer the same to others.
And Marteene's bravery and 'can-do' attitude has been recognised at the highest level, as she was presented with a Community Upstander Award at the national No2H8Crime ceremony in at the Intercontinental Hotel in Mayfair, by Dr Erin Saltman from Facebook who sponsored the award.
Well known-actor Sanjeev Bhaskar compered the evening, which shone a light on people who are making a difference every day in the fight against hate crime.
Marteene said: "About a month ago I found out that I had been nominated, and then I got a message from the organisers to say I had been shortlisted. I went to London on Thursday and I won! I'm on cloud nine!
"Dr Erin from Facebook who presented me with the award said that the decision was unanimous across the judging panels and that really made me feel amazing because I know what I'm doing is right, and this is going to help people. There is so much hate against us and through this people will see and know that we are not going to stand for it."
On the night Marteene was invited to Facebook, where she will lead a focus group of LGBTQI people to help Facebook better identify how to spot hate crime against the community.
Marteene added: "This is definitely going accelerate the work I've been doing, I'm passionate about reporting hate crimes and it's so important. Also winning this award and being transgender is so important because it shows that we are accepted."