London Trans Pride: Thousands March After 'Actively Damaging Year' For Rights

Heartstopper's Yasmin Finney even gave a heartfelt speech which took aim at Boris Johnson.
SOPA Images via Getty Images

Huge crowds marched together through the centre of the capital on Saturday as part of London Trans Pride.

According to model and activist Munroe Bergdorf, more than 20,000 people joined the march, which went from Wellington Arch by Hyde Park to Soho Square.

Protesters wrote powerful messages on signs to mark the occasion including “Take Down the Cis-Tem” and “Trans Lives are Sacred”.

The joyous event, which came one week after London Pride, celebrated trans rights after a particularly difficult year which has seen the government – and “gender critical feminists” – put the trans community in the spotlight.

This year, when the UK dropped to 14th in the most LGBTQ-friendly nations in Europe, the march aimed to “celebrate the memory of trans lives taken and uphold the next generation of trans revolutionaries”.

With idols from within the community speaking out about these pressing issues at the weekend event, here’s everything you need to know.

Government’s ‘abhorrent and deliberate attack’

Earlier this year, No.10 announced it was reneging on its commitment to ban trans conversion therapy – while still pushing to introduce the ban on the harmful practice for the rest of the LGBTQ+ community.

The U-turn was denounced as targeting an already marginalised group, especially as it was announced on Trans Day of Visibility.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) also called for the Scottish government to pause its reforms to the Gender Recognition Act, as well as pushing for Westminster to delay reforms to conversion therapy for trans and intersex people.

A spokesperson for London Trans+ Pride said: “The irony is not lost on us, this is an abhorrent and deliberate attack.”

They added: “The EHRC is actively damaging human rights for trans people.

“We deserve better: London Trans Pride is calling for the EHRC to be abolished. We march to demand the legal recognition of non-binary, intersex and gender nonconforming people.”

’Boris, bye!′

Trans actress Yasmin Finney, known for starring as Elle in Netflix’s Heartstopper and for her upcoming role in Doctor Who, also gave an emotional speech to a large crowd.

She said she felt “so connected to my community” adding: “If the government is trying to eradicate us, we’re all here and we’re just duplicating.”

Referencing the prime minister’s resignation last week, she said: “Like, hello? Boris, bye!”

She continued: “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!”

Her words are particularly powerful in a week when several of those MPs who are vying to become next Conservative leader have been foregrounding their views about gender and biological sex as part of their campaigning.

Trans author Charlie Craggs also gave Johnson a shout-out in her speech at Trans Pride, referencing her all-black outfit and saying they were there to celebrate” the end of the political life” of the prime minister.

“When it comes to thinking what I want to say about this man who has been consistently transphobic, homophobic, all the phobics, er it was really hard to summarise it in a few words, but I think I found two words to sum it up and those two words are: ha, ha.”

She continued: “I’m so tired of being fucking sad. Being happy is the biggest finger up to these people, they don’t want you to be happy – they don’t even want you to be alive.

“So being happy and alive is the biggest fuck you to these people. So go home after this Pride and be fucking happy – you deserve it.”

Mark Kerrison via Getty Images
Mark Kerrison via Getty Images
Mark Kerrison via Getty Images

‘Things ARE changing’

Munroe Bergdorf wrote about the march on her Instagram account, asking why there was so little reporting around such a major event.

She pointed out that “it speaks volumes” that this was not covered it in the mainstream media, claiming trans rights only come up when presented as part of a “culture war”.

But, she added: “Things ARE changing, but trans joy doesn’t sell papers. Transphobia sells. Fear sells. Hate sells. Resist.”