Trans people are loved: Allies urged to take a stand in powerful new campaign

A person holds up their hands in the shape of a heart, to show their love, during an LGBTQ+ Pride event with a trans flag in the background

Allies are being urged to make their voices heard by letting the world know: Trans people are loved.

The #TransPeopleAreLoved campaign is a call to action to allies around the world, to share their love and support for the community amid growing anti-trans rhetoric.

Eva Echo, director of Trans in City and director of innovation at Birmingham Pride, is one of the campaign’s co-founders. They told PinkNews that people within the trans community “need to be reminded that we are loved and valued”, now more than ever.

“We have thrived for centuries within many cultures and societies, so being trans+ is nothing new,” the activist said. “We have always been around, and we mustn’t let the current political climate erase our existence. 

“We are wives, husbands, partners, employees, friends… we are human, and all humans deserve love. 

“We call upon all our allies to take a stand in the name of love and actively show support for a community that’s always been there for them.”

You may like to watch

The campaign was started by Echo along with Birmingham Pride’s Char Bailey, campaigner and model Jude Guaitamacchi, fitness trainer Liz Ridgway, and Saba Ali, a trustee at the charity Galop UK.

Guaitamacchi said support for the trans community is urgent at a time when anti-trans hate has a “much larger platform and transphobic discrimination is on the rise”, with trans-related hate crime having risen by 56 per cent

A person holds up a sign reading 'support trans kids' during a protest with an LGBTQ+ flag seen in the background
#TransPeopleAreLoved campaign co-founder Jude Guaitamacchi says trans youth are growing up in a “world where transphobic hate is so loud”. (@kaleidoshoots)

The trans community is under siege from rising levels of violence, politicians trying to roll back crucial protections and movements that look to divide and isolate trans people from the larger LGBTQ+ community. 

“From a personal and professional perspective, having worked with children and young people in schools around the country, I regularly interact with trans youth and non-binary youth,” they said. 

“Having been the young trans person who was unsupported, I can’t imagine what it must feel like to grow up in a world where transphobic hate is so loud. 

“Is it any wonder that nine in 10 young trans people in the UK have suicidal thoughts? A day does not go by where I witness transphobic comments, stories or headlines and don’t struggle to manage my own mental health. Imagine what that could be like for a child. 

“Allies make up the majority of people in this country and US so we need them to support a mere one per cent of the population and help us make ‘Love the Loudest Voice’.” 

In the US, where conservatives are successfully enacting legislation to roll back trans rights, it’s little wonder that trans young people are at particular risk. 

A study by suicide-prevention charity The Trevor Project found 41 per cent of LGBTQ+ young people in the US seriously considered taking their own lives in the past year – and young people who are trans, non-binary and/or people of colour reported even higher rates.

In the UK, reports suggest the government is intent on following America’s lead.

Draft government policy guidance leaked this week suggests the Tories will soon instruct schools to ban trans kids from playing competitive sports in alignment with their gender, and require head teachers to consult parents if a child expresses a desire to socially transition – effectively outing them.

Without parental consent, a child would not be permitted to use a different name or pronouns, or to wear certain gendered school uniform.

Meanwhile, Ali says the UK is failing LGBTQ+ people.

She noted that the Tory government still hasn’t banned so-called conversion therapy, adding that the party’s “rhetoric is full of dog-whistles and scare-mongering, in particular about trans women and trans kids”. 

She added: “In a time where the progress made by our LGBTQIA+ communities worldwide is increasingly at risk, it is crucial to recognise the power of solidarity, community and allyship. When we unite in our diversity, we will bring about change. 

“By coming together and raising our voices, we can make a difference in the lives of LGBTQIA+ individuals and communities worldwide.”

Bailey, director of people at Birmingham Pride and an award-winning workshop facilitator, says it’s important for allies to ‘be a little bit braver’ to amplify trans voices and spread the message that trans and non-binary people are celebrated.

“We’re here to make love the loudest voice because our siblings need to know that they are loved, they are seen and they are celebrated,” Bailey says.

“It’s easy when everything’s good to say you’re an ally, it’s about being a little bit braver for other members of the community to be louder.”

Ridgway, personal trainer and public speaker, adds it’s “crucial” for trans people to “realise, know and hear messages of love and solidarity” at a time when the “narrative from the media and political circles is so cynical and cruel”. 

“Love strengthens society. Love restores self-esteem and self-worth,” Ridgway says. 

“Love builds trust amongst people. Love builds healthy interpersonal connections. Love wins hearts and minds and restores faith. Love makes you feel part of something.”

​​The founders of World Pride, which is licensed by InterPride, are official partners of the #TransPeopleAreLoved campaign. The network is linked to more than 375 Pride events in 70 countries, showing massive solidarity with the trans community. 

Ryan Starzyk, the global project manager of communications and technology at InterPride, says the LGBTQ+ community is “full of diversity, love and inclusion” so “standing with our trans family and friends could not be more important [than] it is today”.

He continued: “None of us are free until all of us are free to be our authentic selves. The #TransPeopleAreLoved campaign is a way for us to share our commitment to inclusion and equity for our trans community worldwide.”