Trans Pride makes its return to London with defiant call for ‘trans liberation now’

Why Trans Pride is special: 'I've never seen so many queer people at once'

Thousands of trans and non-binary people and their allies took to the streets of central London today to fight for trans liberation.

At the third-ever London Trans+ Pride, marchers chanted “Trans rights are human rights” and “Trans liberation now” as well as “F**k the Tories”.

Protestors met at Wellington Arch next to Hyde Park and marched to Soho in a jubilant mood.

Speeches at the packed Soho Square were led by model and activist Munroe Bergdorf and Hollyoaks star Ki Griffin.

Before and after the march, PinkNews spoke to those attending to find out what makes Trans Pride special to them.

Maddie, 27, they/them and David, 21, he/him

Maddie (right) and David. (Charlie Mathers/@charlie.mathers)

Maddie: “Trans Pride is special to me because as a non-binary person, we’re still not legally recognised which is stupid because a lot of other countries have done it and have proven that it’s actually quite easy.

“We also need to fight for our trans siblings, as hate crimes have risen exponentially and we need rights now.”

David: “As an ally it’s really important that we turn out to Trans Pride, because we need to stand by our siblings in this torrid, stupid world that we are finding ourselves in.

“Transphobia is on the rise – we need to crush it and we need to stop it. And we need to stand by our siblings. We need to be fighting for healthcare. We need to be fighting against transphobia in the media. We need to be fighting for everyone to have their rights; fully and equally.”

Lorcan, 25, ze/zir

trans pride

Lorcan. (Charlie Mathers/@charlie.mathers)

“Trans Pride is important because it’s so important to see other people who look like us out there, thriving, to show that it’s not all about trans suffering. There is so much more to it than that.”

Atusa Jasmin, 22, they/them

Atusa. (Charlie Mathers/@charlie.mathers)

“Trans Pride is special to me because we are under attack. To me, Pride is a protest. Being surrounded my chosen family is something I love, as is being surrounded by other trans people, allies and other queer people.

“But there is still so much left to fight for. That’s why I’m here, to be part of that and to go against the commercialised, capitalist Pride that there is. That’s why today is special to me.”

Nella, 22, he/they

trans pride

Nella. (Charlie Mathers/@charlie.mathers)

“Trans Pride is special to me because it’s not often we have a place that’s safe, and a place that we can celebrate our joy and our love for each other. And also fight for rights that are really on the brink of being taken away from us.”

Tristan, 26, he/him and Mike, 32, he/him

Tristan (left) and Mike. (Charlie Mathers/@charlie.mathers)

Tristan: “In a space like this you can see the sheer diversity within our own community. And I think that’s a really amazing thing to celebrate, that trans people are super diverse.

“I think a lot of media representation doesn’t show that. So being able to have our own space where you can look and see people who are like you, and people who are vastly different from you and still be part of the same community is really, really nice.”

Mike: “For me, Trans Pride is special because as a cis ally I feel it’s my responsibility – just as trans people helped with gay liberation, I think it’s my responsibility as a gay man to stand up for our trans brothers and sisters who are being left behind by some in our community who feel like the work is done. And I think that’s a disservice.

“We’re part of a diverse community of kink and queer culture and it’s been wonderful to meet people of trans and non-binary identities within that and learn a lot from them firsthand that you don’t get from any other source. Ten years ago, if you’d asked me about transgender people I wouldn’t have really had a clue, but now, here I am.”

Federico, 25, they/them

trans pride

Federico. (Charlie Mathers/@charlie.mathers)

“Trans Pride is special because I’m trans, and I’m just tired of people putting us in a box. People try to measure how queer we are, how camp we are. We are so much more than that.

“If you study history, we’ve been here since matrilineal society, communal society. We’ve been here way more than people think. And we used to have great places in society, and we used to be.. we’ve never been marginalised like we are now. We have been here forever.

“We just need to remind ourselves on days like this that we are not by ourselves. Sometimes when we feel down, at the end of the day you wouldn’t change your life for anyone else. These days are just a reminder to see that you’re not alone.”

Valentino Vecchietti, 53, she/they and Ki Griffin, 22, they/he

Hollyoaks star Ki Griffin (right) with intersex activist Valentino Vecchietti. (Charlie Mathers/@charlie.mathers)

Ki: “As a person coming from intersectional identity, trans being one of them, it’s really important for me to be here to represent not just the trans community but my whole community.”

Valentino: “I’m a person of mixed heritage, I’ve got an intersectional existence, Trans+ Pride is for us. I’m coming here as an intersex person, we feel included and we’re delighted to be here. And that’s what it’s about, it’s about recognising and supporting all our different categories in the flag: sexualities, gender identities and variations of physical sex characteristics which is intersex.

“Bringing us all together here and feeling like we belong. I’m loving it.”

Anick, 26, he/him

trans pride

Anick (far left) and friends. (Charlie Mathers/@charlie.mathers)

Anick: “This is my first-ever Trans Pride and I’m just really excited to see so many people who aren’t just here for themselves but are actually here to support other people within the queer community. Because most often we get people just out for themselves, but this really is community.”

Ali, 22, he/him and Fari, 21, they/them

Ali and Fari. (Charlie Mathers/@charlie.mathers)

Ali: “I find Trans Pride important mostly because after being surrounded by trans people and other queer people there’s a necessity, an importance of having people around you that share the same values and provide the respect and equality that you demand. Especially when we live in a society where we’re so excluded and void of that feeling.

“To have our group of friends, to feel homey with, and to come to spaces like this and be expressive, make noise, I would really like to do my smallest bit to be part of the wave that helps to mould new life, new happiness, new protection for people to just be their genuine authentic self.”

Fari: “Today is important to me because we all get to gather in a space where we can unapologetically be ourselves. And not have any fear of retribution or judgment.

“It’s really beautiful seeing so many people gathered together and just being comfortable with themselves, especially when we’re all used to being in environments where we can’t be authentic all the time. So I think places like this are important to us, and we need more of it!”

Poppy, 17, they/them; Lilly, 17, they/them, and Nate, 16, they/them

trans pride

Poppy, Lilly and Nate. (Charlie Mathers/@charlie.mathers)

Poppy: “Trans Pride is special to me because it brings different people together and supports one group who are struggling at the moment.

“Today has been exhausting but good. I feel very proud.”

Lilly: “Trans Pride is special because it raises awareness of trans people’s lives and that we are a part of a bigger community than we sometimes realise.”

Nate: “Today has been amazing and fun and colourful. Trans Pride is special because it brings everyone together, and you see so many different people.

“I’ve never seen so many people in the same place at once who are queer.”