Protesters take to the streets amid concerns over Tory government’s alleged rollback of trans rights

Patrick Kelleher July 5, 2020
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Gender Recognition Act: Anti-trans respondents outnumbered trans people

A protestor asks for the right to self-identify their gender in the UK, which was one of the demands campaigners had for reform of the Gender Recognition Act. (WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty)

More than a thousand people gathered in London’s Parliament Square yesterday (July 4) to protest against the government’s alleged abandonment of reforms to the Gender Recognition Act.

The British government is reportedly planning to scrap reforms to the Act and will instead introduce a series of policies to “protect” single-sex spaces, the Sunday Times reported last month.

Protesters took to Parliament Square yesterday to voice their opposition to the reported plans, where people waved trans flags and held up signs that said: “Trans rights now” and, “Our Rights are not up for debate”.

Speakers at trans rights protest in London urged the government to reform legislation.

20 speakers addressed the urgent need for reform to the Gender Recognition Act, as well as addressing their own experiences of transphobia.

One of the event’s organisers, Thaniel Dorian, thanked those who gathered at Parliament Square for the protest in a Facebook post on the event page, and said it was “the single most amazing experience” of his life.

“With just a stubborn determination, three amazing co-organisers, a wonderful set of volunteer stewards and first aiders, and a grand total of 20 speakers.. I just ran and hosted a protest of well over a thousand people,” Dorian wrote.

“Trans people filled every single inch of Parliament Square. We had no money, no organisation, no political affiliation. Just passion, and endlessly generous volunteers and people wanting to help in any way they could.”

Organisers shared their list of demands ahead of the protest in London.

In a post on July 3, organisers shared their list of demands to the British government to improve trans lives.

They urged the government to respect the results of the 2018 public consultation on the Gender Recognition Act, in which a significant majority of the public supported reform.

They also said self-identification must be “streamlined” and said it is “crucial to keeping transgender people safe”.

Fundamentally, the organisers urged the government to scrap the need for “proof” that they are giving in their correct gender – an archaic and oppressive part of the current legislation that makes legal transition an arduous task.

They also called for gender neutral and inclusive spaces, including public toilets, and demanded that the government recognise non-binary and gender non-conforming identities.

The protest comes just weeks after reports suggested that the government is scrapping planned reforms to the Gender Recognition Act.

Reports suggested that Boris Johnson and his ministers will shelve plans developed under Theresa May’s government and instead “placate” the LGBT+ community with a ban on conversion therapy.

A government insider claimed that the government’s response to the public consultation of 2018 is “basically ready” and will be announced at the end of July.



Related topics: Parliament Square, Transgender

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