Trans group protests Tory government after Rishi Sunak and Suella Braverman comments

Activists let off smoke bombs in the trans flag colours in protest of the government's treatment of trans people.

A group of transgender activists have staged a protest in London to made a powerful stand against the Tory government’s continued attacks on trans people.

Protestors waved flares in the trans colours and unfurled a banner over the River Thames while marching over Vauxhall Bridge in central London on Tuesday (10 October).

“The transphobic and racist rhetoric coming from the government seeks to deny our existence and pit us against each other,” an Instagram post from the T-Boys Club – a transmasc nightclub in London – read.

“But we know we cannot be erased and we will not be divided.”

Spread across the bridge was a sign reading: “We exist: We will resist”, while activists held up smaller similarly pro-trans messages.

The protest comes just days after the end of the Conservative Party conference during which several ministers made anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-immigration comments.

You may like to watch

Prime minister Rishi Sunak was widely condemned by LGBTQ+ people and allies following his speech on 4 October in which he claimed the British public are being “bullied” into believing “people can be any sex they want to be.”

Sunak told fellow Tories: “A man is a man, and a woman is a woman, that’s just common sense.” His comments were met with a round of applause from MPs, party members and others in the audience.

While this isn’t the first time the prime minister has publically denied the existence of trans people, many were particularly disgusted by his latest statement.

In its post, the T-Boys Club wrote that “scapegoating” by the UK government had led to an increase in exclusion, homelessness and violence against trans people.

“Queer solidarity smashes borders,” it continued. “The fight for trans liberation is a fight against a racist border regime that detains and deports people that the state sees as disposable.

“Trans people, asylum seekers and migrants are being used as political scapegoats to distract from [a] government prioritising profits over people, and sinking millions of people further into despair and poverty.”

Home secretary Suella Braverman was also criticised for anti-LGBTQ+ comments made prior to the conference, in which she claimed asylum seekers were trying to “game the system” by pretending to be gay.

Meanwhile, hate crime figures released last week by the Home Office revealed that attacks against trans people shot up by 11 per cent in the 12 months to March.

The rise could be linked to the demonisation of trans people by politicians, the Home Office admitted.

“For Brianna [Ghey], for Banko Brown [two trans people who lost their lives this year], for all the trans and oppressed people, we will continue to resist,” the T-Boys Club post continued.

“We are everywhere and we will continue to live as ourselves, love each other fiercely and build joyful communities in which all can thrive.

“None of us are free until we are all free. Solidarity for ever.”