On July 9, more than 20,000 people showed up in the streets of London to march in Trans Pride and celebrate the Transgender community.
Starting in Wellington Arch, LGBTQ+ activists and allies marched carrying signs and shouting messages of support for all Trans, non-binary, gender non-conforming and intersex folks. Demands for better healthcare and changes in archaic and transphobic legislation were heard along the streets of the British capital during the parade.
With its grassroots origin, London Trans Pride is an annual event born in 2019 that aims at providing an alternative to the wider Pride movement and gives centre stage to the Trans community. The aim of such marches is to “‘celebrate the memory of trans lives taken and uphold the next generation of trans revolutionaries”.
In the current socio-political context in which Trans folks are increasingly banned from competing in sports and excluded from legislation protecting them from conversion therapy, making Trans people visible and ensuring that their voices are heard is of utmost importance.
Trans rights are under attack all over the world. No later than yesterday, former US President Donald Trump went on a transphobic rant during a rally in Alaska where he hinted at the possibility of running for president again in 2024. Talking about Trans women competing in the female category in sports, he vowed that, should he have the power to do so again, he will “keep men out of women’s sports”.
One of the organisers of London Trans Pride, Mars, spoke about the current state of affairs saying: “To be trans, intersex, or gender variant in any capacity in the 2020s, to me, is an experience of having one’s humanity taken into question. It’s to be used frequently without your input or your consent. It’s to have the language to describe yourself without having access to communities.”
Mars added, “Trans Pride is for all those gender outcasts who don’t have the luxury of going back to a comfortable life and a comfortable world that cares about them, their health, and their ability to get around unharmed once Pride Month is over.”
Trans model and activist Munroe Bergdorf, who also marched last Saturday, took to social media to denounce how British media have been silent on London Trans Pride despite how many people gathered for the event.
“It speaks volumes that the only time we hear about the trans community in the media is when we are presented as ‘an issue’, ‘a debate’ or ‘a culture war’,” she said. “The British press are NOT to be believed when it comes to reporting on Trans rights. Their bias is aligned with our erasure and disenfranchisement.”
Snippet I caught of Yasmin Finney's speech at London Trans Pride. pic.twitter.com/vrPonpJUJZ
— Evie 🏳️⚧️🏳️🌈⚢💍 (@SleepyCatten) July 9, 2022
Heartstopper star and Trans actor Yasmin Finney also participated in the march, delivering an emotional speech during which she said: “I love you all so much. This is my first London Trans Pride. I feel so connected to my community more than ever, and if the government is trying to eradicate us… Like, we’re all here and we’re just duplicating – look at how many of us there are”.
Referring to the recent resignation of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has repeatedly been accused of being homophobic and transphobic, she added: “So, Boris, I hope you see Heartstopper, I hope you see Doctor Who, because I exist. And I know you know I exist. We all exist – and we’re not going anywhere. Period.”
Seeing as the number of people participating in the parade is doubling each year, the organisation has already set up a GoFundMe page to cover the costs. If you wish to support this initiative, donate to London Trans Pride here.
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