Mark Drakeford slams ‘cruel and hostile trans debate’ in Trans in the City awards speech

Trans in the City presented Wales' first minister, Mark Drakeford with theCEO’s award at its annual gala evening to celebrate Trans Awareness Week on Monday, 13 November.

Trans in the City has given Wales’ first minister, Mark Drakeford, a prestigious award at its annual gala evening in celebration of Trans Awareness Week. 

Kicking off Trans Awareness Week, which runs until 19 November, the gala on Monday evening (14 November), saw Drakeford presented with the chief executive’s award – in recognition of the Welsh government’s work in delivering its LGBTQ+ Action Plan.

In a video shared with PinkNews, Drakeford stated that trans women are women, and that he was “delighted” to receive the award on behalf of the Welsh government. 

“We want Wales to be a nation where everyone feels free, supported and safe to live their lives as they would choose to do so,” he said. 

The action plan, launched in February, is a statement of “our determination to deliver this ambition”, the first minister added. 

‘We must behave with respect and kindness’

“We recognise the discrimination that trans and non-binary communities continue to experience. That is why our aim is to use every lever we have available to guarantee that stigma and discrimination have no place in Wales, by strengthening human rights, by banning conversion practices, by removing barriers which prevent LGBTQ+ people from being able to live freely and without hate and abuse.

You may like to watch

“The Welsh government’s position is that trans men are men, and trans women are women, and non-binary identities are valid.”

In response to anti-trans sentiment, Drakeford said: “We believe we must behave with respect and kindness and we must avoid plunging further into the cruel and often hostile debate surrounding the rights of trans and non-binary people.” 

Trans in the City, a not-for-profit group led entirely by trans and non-binary people, is hosting a series of events to mark Trans Awareness Week. 

Following workshops and the gala, the group will host a celebration evening on Tuesday (14 November) from 6.30pm, offering a chance to network with awards winners, and a student ambassadors conference the following day from midday until 7.30pm. 

Trans Day of Remembrance on Saturday (20 November) will honour the memory of trans people who have fallen victim to violence. 

A full list of the Trans in the City events can be found here.