Munroe Bergdorf slams Tories for ‘inducing a moral panic’ over trans rights at London Trans+ Pride
Trans activist and model Munroe Bergdorf blasted the Conservative government for “inducing a moral panic” around the lives of trans people in a searing London Trans+ Pride speech.
The internationally renowned activist told the thousands gathered at the event on Saturday (8 July) how the trans community is living in a “particularly sinister moment in history”, where trans rights are yet again “being weaponised by the media and government in a senseless culture war that benefits no one but the ruling class”.
“The human rights, wellbeing, dignity and bodily autonomy of transgender human beings have been disregarded in the pursuit of inducing a moral panic, devoid of empathy and understanding, fuelled by anger and apathy,” Bergdorf told the crowd.
“The abject truth has been replaced with abstract lies. Scientific guidance replaced with media sensationalism and religious evangelicalism.
“Understanding of difference replaced with irrational fear and knee-jerk opinions. Community replaced with a closed door.
“Peoples’ lives have been picked up and kicked around like a political football with little to no regard for the consequence or the impact,” she continued.
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“Segregation from public spaces has yet again been put on the table for those who hold office leading with fear and distraction rather than courage and solutions.”
Bergdorf declared the lives of trans people are hanging in the balance and that “transphobia can no longer continue to be framed as a status quo”.
“The freedom to express who we are and the freedom to be who we are is for all of us to protect,” she said. “Freedom includes us all.”
Munroe Bergdorf then offered a rallying cry to trans folks and allies to fight back against the “crisis of apathy” perpetuated by a Conservative government set on rolling back protections for trans people in the UK.
“Allies, we need you to be fighting with us now more than ever,” Bergdorf said. “We are less than one per cent of the population. If you don’t fight with us, then things are not going to change.”
“We need to stand hand in hand, arm in arm. We need to understand that change comes with pushback, and that’s not just pushback from us, pushing back against this Tory government that is then pushing back against us before every single significant breakthrough in history.
“There is pushback, and that is what’s happening now because we are on the precipice of a breakthrough.”
Munroe Bergdorf described the London Trans+ Pride event as the “change in real time” and a “history moment” built upon the community’s love for each other while making room for “each other to make mistakes”.
“We’re not going to get this right,” she said. “We’re all underneath a lot of pressure. We’re all dealing with it in the best way that we can.”
“Allow each other grace. Allow each other the freedom that you want for yourself, and make sure that you’re just being who you want to see in the change that we are bringing into this world.”
Bergdorf has been advocating for trans people as well as fighting back against racism and white supremacy for the past decade.
The activist made history in 2017 when she became the face of a L’Oréal UK campaign, making her the brand’s first openly trans model. She once again went down in the history books when she became the first out trans woman to grace the cover of Cosmopolitan UK in 2022.
In April, Bergdorf said she’s “no longer willing to live under an authoritarian government” run by the Tory party that is “intent on reducing trans people to second-class citizens” in a searing post on Instagram
Bergdorf said she would “almost certainly be packing [her] bags” unless the Tories are ousted in the next election.
Munroe Bergdorf was among a jam-packed line-up of powerful speakers at London’s Trans+ Pride including artist and community organiser June Lam, radical trans liberation activism group Transgender Action Block, figures from the Trans Workers Solidarity Network and Trans Prisoner Alliance CEO Sarah Jane Baker.
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