“We’re here today because no matter what the government claims, trans people have always existed and always will”
BY ELLA GAUCI, IMAGE BY BEX WADE
50 trans and queer people took to Vauxhall Bridge today (10 October) to display a 30m banner over the Thames in protest of recent anti-trans and anti-migrant comments made by the Conservative Party. The banner read “We Exist: We Will Resist”, which was accompanied by a cloud of smoke as participants let off flares in the colours of the trans flag.
This powerful statement follows Rishi Sunak’s comments at the Conservative Party Conference where he commented that: “A man is a man, and a woman is a woman, that’s just common sense.” Home Secretary Suella Braverman also faced major backlash after stating that being gay shouldn’t be enough of a reason to claim asylum in the UK.
Kai Pearce, a participant at Vauxhall Bridge, said: “We’re here today because no matter what the government claims, trans people have always existed and always will. Trans people are under attack but nothing the government does or says can erase our history across the world.”
“We want this morning to be a symbol of hope for queer and trans people, and all oppressed communities, who have felt isolated and threatened these past weeks and to show more than ever that all of us need to stand alongside one another. Our trans existence is beautiful and undeniable and we’re not going anywhere”.
At a time where trans rights are being attacked from all corners, demonstrations like this are vital for showing the queer community the importance of coming together to protect our rights.
Another attendee at the bridge, Alex Walsh, said “The targeting of trans people and asylum seekers and migrants is nothing more than a distraction tactic. People can’t afford to eat or pay their energy bills, people are dying waiting for ambulances after continuous deliberate NHS service cuts, and instead of taking accountability or action to fix the mess they have created the government is continuously pointing the finger at those who are already the most vulnerable people in society.”
“They’re trying to pit us against each other, but we cannot be erased and we will not be divided. The government has left so many people hungry, insecure and scared but we will continue to fight for our basic needs, to love each other and build communities where we can all thrive. We hope that everyone who sees this is inspired to stand with us.”
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