A group of protesters led by trans-exclusionary radical lesbian feminist Julia Long picketed the launch of the world’s first lingerie collection for transgender women by designer Carmen Liu.
The transgender lingerie fashion show took place on Wednesday (February 28) in London’s Glaziers Hall, an event venue along the South Bank of the River Thames.
The group of about eight protesters of various ages congregated at the entrance of the venue, holding banners and wearing matching lingerie sets on top of their clothes.
The protesters’ attire was chosen “to make a point that clothes don’t make a woman. It’s biology,” Julia Long told PinkNews.
One protester was wearing a bright red lace lingerie set on top of her black clothes, and a little heart around her neck bearing the writing “Get the L out,” referring to the trans-exclusionary lesbian movement that hijacked the front of the Pride in London parade in July.
Long wore a blond wig, a glittery pink baseball hat with “Team Unicorn” written across it, as well as a beaded bra and gold sequinned hot pants on top of her clothes.
“Just wearing sexy underwear does not make you a woman.”
— Trans-exclusionary radical lesbian feminist, Julia Long
“I don’t go around wearing this kind of gear, as you can imagine,” she said, before being asked what is wrong about wearing sexy red underwear.
She answered: “We’re not saying what’s wrong or right about it, we are saying this is a fetishistic view of womanhood that comes straight from pornography.”
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Long, who along with fellow anti-trans activist Posie Parker interrupted a private meeting in Washington, DC, in January to misgender and harass Sarah McBride, the national press secretary for LGBT+ organisation Human Rights Campaign (HRC), said the private fashion event was “insulting” to women.
“It’s what we consider to be a very insulting view of what a woman is which involves putting on this kind of sexy underwear. Just wearing sexy underwear does not make you a woman. We feel it’s an image of femininity that comes straight out of the porn industry that we totally reject,” the activist told PinkNews.
Transgender lingerie show unaffected by protest
Little of the protest could be heard or seen inside the venue, where a two-door system ensured a physical distance between the street and the reception desk.
Attendees of the transgender lingerie fashion event, which included members of the LGBT+ community and several journalists, were largely unperturbed at the protest, enjoying the champagne and canapés before sitting down for the show.
“The time has come for us to stop fearing being ourselves.”
— Transgender lingerie designer Carmen Liu
Designer Carmen Liu addressed the attendees via video before the show started.
“Very few people truly understand what it’s like to be transgender. That’s why it’s vital that the solutions to our problems come from within,” she said. “The time has come for us to stop fearing being ourselves.”
Liu was the first to walk the runway, with Cher’s “Woman’s World” setting the rhythm. After each of the six models showcased two designs, the show ended on the notes Ariana Grande’s “No Tears Left to Cry.”
Speaking to PinkNews after the show, Liu said the evening did not go as expected. “It was better,” she said.