Trans Pride+ marchers in London (Picture: Guy Smallman)

Up to 25,000 people demonstrated in central London for Trans+ Pride on Saturday. The fifth trans pride demanded trans rights now, confronted bigotry and celebrated trans people.

Protesters smiled, cheered and chanted as they marched from Trafalgar Square to Wellington Arch with trans flags and placards. It was a celebration of gender expression and sexuality and a show of resistance against relentless Tory attacks 

Elijah came from Brighton. “It felt so cool marching like that,” he told Socialist Worker. “It was really powerful. And it felt liberating to shout and chant together.”

Across the march, people shouted, “Trans right now”, “Trans rights are human rights” and “Lgb with the T.” As well as “Trans is power” and “We don’t want assimilation, we want trans liberation.”

Others shouted, “Brick by brick, wall by wall. This transphobic system has to fall”, “Stonewall was a riot, we will not be quiet” and “When trans tight are under attack, what do we do? Stand up fight back.”

Protester Alice told Socialist Worker, “As LGBT+ people it’s important we’re here to stand with trans people. We can’t sit back until trans people have rights too. Today has been a beautiful display of inclusivity, and that’s the kind of world we want to live in. 

“Everyone here today is here to support but also demand something better.”

Housing groups, as well as pro-migrant campaigns, joined the demonstration. And there was a trade union bloc made up of branches from the Unison, FBU, Unite, NEU, PCS, Bectu, UCU and other unions.

Rebecca was from the fire brigade union that brought its banners to the pride. “I’m here to show solidarity with our trans comrades but also to fight for my own rights,” they told Socialist Worker. 

“This is one of the best ways to advocate for our space and visibility, with lots of people identifying in different ways can come together.

“The energy here is very different compared to London pride last week. It feels more diverse and that’s important when we think about what we want to achieve.

Emma was at trans+ pride for the first time. “It’s great to be part of something bigger,” they told Socialist Worker. “I’ve seen people who have come alone from far away and they see people and you see the nervousness fall off. It’s priceless.

“I’m doing this for me, I came out as nonbinary last year, and people who are coming out, not sure or not able to.

“It’s important we’re framing this as a protest because we’re not happy—with the government or the status quo.”

Rebecca added that coming to the pride “is all about solidarity and understanding our struggles are interlinked.”

“The right and the government have tanked the economy and are scraping around for someone to blame. They’re looking for a scapegoat—migrants and marginalised people. We have to come together and say that doesn’t represent working class people.”

Protester Freya told Socialist Worker, “It’s important we don’t just sit and accept not having rights. We need to protest together for more. We want the Tories out of power, but it’s not enough to just hope the Labour Party will be slightly less bad.”

Elijah added, “Our end game has to be that people can just be who they are, without constant attacks or fear, or having to justify who they are. Right now we need to be fighting for our rights, and to show we’re not going away until we get them.”

The lack of trans health care, vicious pushbacks from the Tories over trans rights, and the rising hate crimes against trans people like the murder of Brianna Ghey have mobilised more people to trans+ pride than ever before.

This mood of resistance has to continue to demand trans rights now.

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