Shon Faye asks public to ‘centre trans women’ in Amnesty speech after petition called for her removal

Shon Faye fought off her critics to ask audiences to “centre trans women” in a rallying speech as the host of Amnesty UK’s ‘Women Making History’ festival today.

After the writer and comedian was asked to present the festival, a petition calling for the removal of Faye circulated, and accrued 2292 signatures.

Signatures on the petition consistently misgendered Faye, referred to her as a “man”. One referred to her as “abusive” and another as a “pervert”.

In a speech at the event today, Faye said that she wanted to “centre trans women who do not share my advantages who
must be centred in women’s human rights work.”

“Instead of answering my critics I pay tribute to those women – because as long as trans women in the UK and around the world are being beaten, being sectioned, being brutalised, being raped, being killed or surviving, thriving, living, laughing, loving, and dying as women are then it is right and just that we are able to access the support and solidarity of feminist and women’s’ community,” she said.

Faye also paid tribute to Naomi Hersi at the festival opening in Shoreditch.

The 31 year old black trans woman was stabbed in London in March.

“I remember Naomi now along with all my black and brown trans sisters and siblings across the world who are experiencing an epidemic of violence because they are trans, women and of colour,” said Faye.

(Naomi Hersi / Twitter)

“I think of the trans woman of colour in my hometown of Bristol, so badly brutalised by Avon and Somerset Police in the hours after attempting to take her own life in 2015, the force ultimately had to pay out damages.

The festival will celebrate the “power of women standing together for human rights.”

Olivia Colman, Seyi Akiwowo, Indira Varma, Deborah Frances-White, Grace Victory, Emma Gannon, Rowan Ellis are also speaking at the all-day event.