Trans Rights protest takes place on College Green

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By Megan Evans, News Subeditor

Hundreds gather on College Green calling for increased trans rights and visibility in light of reforms to the Gender Recognition Act being dropped.

A large crowd gathered at noon on College Green, with attendees reaching the hundreds after speakers began at 13:10. The protest was run by Trans Pride South West, a Bristol-based organisation that run annual Trans Pride festivals in the city.  

Opening the speeches was Kaz Self, from Trans Pride South West and other speakers also included journalist and activist Shon Faye and the Bristol-born poet and performer Travis Alabanza.

The demonstration was in response to government proposals to drop a reform of the Gender Recognition Act, which would have made it easier for trans people to legally transition, and a potential new law that would restrict the rights of transgender women to use women’s public facilities.

Organiser Spencer Blackwell of Trans Pride South West told Epigram: ‘We are protesting this unworkable, unfair and dangerous plan, which would have a huge impact on the safety, dignity and wellbeing of trans people. Trans people have the right to live their lives without being subjected to discrimination and abuse’.

Another attendee, third year English student at Bristol University, Pascal van Liempt, said: ‘It’s just meant to show how many people do support trans people [and] trans rights'.

‘It’s going to show that transphobic views that have been expressed by major public figures recently are not actually all that mainstream, and that the general public is a lot more accepting’.

Protestors were socially distanced and the majority were also wearing masks | Pascal van Liempt

Attendees of the static protest were asked to follow social distancing guidelines by remaining two metres apart and wearing facemasks.

The protest was one of a number that have been occurring throughout the country following the news that the government planned to scrap planned reforms to the Gender Recognition Act.

Featured: Pascal van Liempt / Epigram


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