London Trans+ Pride hit the streets of central London on Saturday to call for transgender rights. Around 5,000 protesters marched from Wellington Arch to a rally in Parliament Square.
Demonstrators demanded “trans rights now”, reform to the Gender Recognition Act and an end to the violence against transgender people. Marchers chanted, “Pride is a protest” and, “Stonewall was a riot.”
Placards challenged right wing, binary notions of gender, and insisted that trans rights are human rights. Protesters celebrated their LGBT+ identity—but ensured that the pride was not just a party.
The loud and angry atmosphere of the demonstration meant it was a political protest. It was a huge difference from other pride events that have been hijacked by big corporations.
“It is so important that Trans+ Pride is a protest”, a protester told Socialist Worker.
“Pride is now a corporate machine, and we can’t afford to party whilst trans people face the discrimination they do.”
There was also anger at the Tories—and in particular at Liz Truss. She recently defended trans-exclusionary single sex spaces and denying gender reassignment surgery to under 18s. Protesters also took on author JK Rowling for recent trans-exclusionary comments.
Rob, a protester, told Socialist Worker, “I want to put pressure on the government to take trans right seriously. And I want to protest against the violence trans people face. Stop killing us and reform the Gender Recognition Act.”
The Tories announced in June they would delay reforms to the Gender Recognition Act. Reforms includedremoving the need for a medical diagnosis before legally changing gender and giving legal recognition for non-binary people
Many understood the importance of solidarity and the need to bring the LGBT+ community together against transphobia.
Sophie, a speaker at the rally, said, “We are nothing on our own, together we are powerful. We have no community without liberation. We need a revolution now.”
And another demonstrator told Socialist Worker, “It is so important that we all stand in solidarity. That way we can raise the profile of the discrimination trans people face and add momentum to the movement.”
There was a large focus throughout the demonstration on the urgency of fighting for black transgender lives.
“Black trans people need our attention”, a speaker told the crowd. “I’m fed up with waking up every day to hear another black trans person has been killed". Protesters regularly chanted “black trans lives matter".
The pride raised awareness of issues LGBT+ issues, raged at the Tories and showed defiance against transphobia.
This was only the second London Trans+ Pride, but its militancy means it is already an important event in the fight for change. It showed the potential to continue in a tradition of fighting against oppression.