London’s second-ever Trans Pride to go ahead this weekend, amid looming fears over police and arrests

Protestors at London Trans+ Pride will march for Black trans icon Elie Che

This Saturday, Londoners will march for trans rights in the city’s second-ever London Trans+ Pride.

Protestors will march to demand legal recognition for non-binary people, an end to non-consensual surgeries on intersex people, and a progressive reform of the UK’s Gender Recognition Act – the law that governs the way adult trans men and women gain legal recognition of their gender.

The event will see thousands of trans and non-binary people, and their allies, march through central London to demand trans equality and honour the Black trans icon Elie Che, who died last month.

Despite last weekend’s trans rights protest in London being cancelled over fears about arrests, London Trans+ Pride will go ahead – with organisers confirming to PinkNews that legal observers will be present and bust cards will be handed out on the day.

The recent rise in violence towards trans people has been impossible to ignore,” London Trans+ Pride organisers said.

“The number of trans women murdered in 2020 has already surpassed 2019’s statistics and governments all over the world are threatening trans rights, from the US to Hungary. 

“In recognising the severity of the situation, we see an urgent need to come together, to have our voices heard, for ourselves, our siblings, and for the wider trans community.”

Organisers of last weekend’s cancelled march had criticised London Trans+ Pride for going ahead, amid growing concerns about police presence and the possibility of arrests.

Addressing these concerns, London Trans+ Pride said: “We have recently received a number of messages regarding the legality of Saturday’s march. As a protest for the basic human rights of trans people, London Trans+ Pride is not affected by ordinary lockdown legislation, and is not in violation of any protest-specific legislation.”

It continued: “The government and police attempts to prohibit protest under the guise of COVID safety guidance is a clear attack on the rights of a people who are disproportionately disadvantaged within society.”

Organisers also confirmed that stewards would be at the march to minimise contact between protestors and police.

Face coverings and social distancing are mandatory for those attending, and organisers will provide hand sanitiser, snacks and water.

The march will begin at 2pm at Wellington Arch and follow the same route as June’s Black Trans Lives Matter march to Parliament Square, where speakers will include London Trans+ Pride founder Lucia Blayke, drag king and Mr Gay England contestant Chiyo Gomes, and the artist June Lam.

The event will honour Black trans femme Elie Che, who was found dead in New York on August 31. Che was a fixture of London’s queer scene, where she sometimes danced at Harpies, the UK’s only LGBT+ strip night.

More information about the march is available here. The organisers of the DIY event are also fundraising to cover costs.

London Trans+ Pride

Organisers said the march will go ahead despite concerns raised about police presence.