New Zealand resoundingly rejects Posie Parker and her message of anti-trans hate

People in Wellington gather in support of trans rights.

Thousands of LGBTQ+ people and allies came together in cities across New Zealand this weekend to stand against anti-trans campaigner Posie Parker. 

Over Saturday and Sunday (25 and 26 March), Auckland, Christchurch and New Zealand’s capital of Wellington saw an outpouring of support for the trans community in the face of anti-trans hate.

After a number of events in Australia, New Zealand was the next target of British anti-trans pundit Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, also known as Posie Parker, on her controversial ‘Let Women Speak’ tour. 

However, the LGBTQ+ community made it clear that Keen-Minshull’s anti-trans views are not welcome in the island nation. 

Christchurch and Wellington saw an estimated 3,000 people turn out in support of the trans community after Saturday’s chaotic ‘Let Women Speak’ event in Auckland forced Keen-Minshull abandon her tour and return to the UK.

In central Christchurch, a hundreds-strong crowd gathered on Sunday, waving LGBTQ+ flags, dancing and singing, including families with children dressed in rainbow attire. 

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Stuff reported that organiser Nick Winchester “fought back tears” as the crowd sang a popular Maori folk song, “waiata Tūtira mai ngā iwi”, about people coming together as one. 

He said: “To have this many people turning up to show love in the face of hate is awesome.”

The mood in Wellington, which was intended to be another stop on the anti-trans tour, was defiant and celebratory, with thousands of people swathed in LGBTQ+ flags. Signs in support of the NZ trans community included “Nans 4 Trans” and “please transition from hater to chill”. 

British trans broadcaster and newsreader India Willoughby described the vibrant scenes in Wellington as “like George Michael’s Listen Without Prejudice album cover”, while UK journalist and commentator Owen Jones tweeted: “‘Let women speak!’ goes the cry of the anti-trans movement.

“The mobilisations against Posie Parker in Australia and New Zealand were led by … women! Far more women turned up to the pro-trans rallies than those against.

“Women spoke. You just didn’t like what they had to say.”

A day earlier, Keen-Minshull was forced to cancel her Auckland event after an estimated 2,000 counter-protesters gathered to express their distaste for her anti-trans views.

Keen-Minshull was heckled and had tomato juice poured on her, before her security detail rushed her away from the scene. Some ‘gender critical’ voices on social media were swift to denounce the protest as “violent”, claims that Auckland Pride has responded to in a statement. 

Auckland Pride said: “There is a narrative quickly taking hold amongst anti-trans groups and individuals that Parker abandoned her event because of violence from our community. 

“We reject this narrative. We are of the firm belief that the demonstration of unity, celebration, and acceptance alongside joyous music, chanting, and noise of 5,000 supporters was too loud to overcome and the reason for her departure – and not the actions of any one individual.

“We also reject that there was any further physical threat from our community towards Parker. This is a baseless rumour that is being perpetrated by those who feel defeated by the events of today.”

Auckland Pride also noted that “neo-Nazis were present” at the ‘Let Women Speak’ event, “alongside the far-right counterspin media”.

The presence of neo-Nazis dogged Keen-Minshull’s controversial tour of Australia and led to her visa to enter New Zealand being reviewed by immigration authorities.

Keen-Minshull told PinkNews that neo-Nazi members of the National Socialist Movement pictured saluting against the backdrop of the Melbourne parliament building on 18 March were not attending her event: “No men dressed in black block who gave Nazi salutes were at the Let Women Speak rally.”

Posie Parker was ultimately permitted entry to New Zealand – only to leave early when it became clear that her divisive and transphobic rhetoric was not wanted.

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