Thousands march for trans freedom and equality at London’s Trans+ Pride

Trans+ Pride London

Some classic British weather didn’t stop thousands of trans people and allies coming together in central London to march for trans rights at the capital’s annual Trans+ Pride event.

Draped in trans flags, holding Pride umbrellas against the rain, wearing trans flag colours and – in the case of Heartstopper star Yasmin Finney – sheer lace, the trans solidarity and pride of more than 35,000 attendees was on display for all the world to see. 

At 1pm on Saturday (8 July), protesters congregated at Trafalgar Square, before making their way on an updated route up Cockspur Street and onto Pall Mall. Attendees then headed up to Piccadilly Circus and ended their march in the green area around Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner. 

The march culminated in powerful speeches from writer and performance artist Travis Alabanza, model Munroe Bergdorf, actor and model and interdisciplinary artist June Lam, and representatives from Transgender Action Block and Trans Workers Solidarity Network.

People gather in Trafalgar Square ahead of taking part in the London Trans+ Pride 2023 march on 8 July 2023 in London, England. (Hollie Adams/Getty Images)

The route for Trans+ Pride 2023 was reportedly altered to accommodate growing numbers of attendees. The annual event, which was first held in 2019, has seen up to 30,000 people turn out to demand trans equality in previous years. 

This year’s protest was suffused with trans power and rage against attacks on the trans community by pundits, the right-wing media and politicians. Flags and placards slating the Conservative government and demanding equality abounded. 

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Trans+ Pride 2023 did not shy away from the political, with signs on refugee rights and anti-Tory chants including “Rishi Sunak we know you are a nasty transphobe too” referencing the British prime minister’s poor track record on trans rights.

There was a strong presence from history-making football team TRUK United FC, with founder Lucy Clark, the world’s first trans referee and TRUK United FC Men’s captain Arthur Webber in attendance.

Representatives from Labour for Trans Rights, LGBT+ Liberal Democrats, trans advocacy organisation TransActual and London-wide charity Single Homeless Project, and author and co-chair of the Feminist Gender Equality Network, Dr Natacha Kennedy, were also spotted among the thousands of attendees.

Chants of “What do we want? Trans liberation!”, “Trans healthcare is a human right, abortion is a human right” and “Every hour, every day, trans joy is here to stay” filled the air, along with loud cheering and waves of applause.

(Hollie Adams/Getty Images)

Trans+ Pride 2023: ‘United we are stronger’

Veteran human rights activist Peter Tatchell slammed the UK’s “toxic anti-trans atmosphere” while he took part in the march holding a sign calling for trans self-identification, and wearing a t-shirt with the slogan “Solidarity with Uganda LGBTs!”

The Peter Tatchell Foundation director told PinkNews: “In this toxic anti-trans atmosphere, it’s so important that we stand in solidarity with the trans community. There can be no LGB without the T.

“United we are stronger, we stand together with our trans friends.”

LGBTQ+ rights campaigner Peter Tatchell at Trans+ Pride in London. (PinkNews)

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