Boris Johnson. (Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)
While Boris Johnson is packing for a two-week family staycation in Scotland, activists are gearing up for a trans rights protest in London’s Parliament Square next month, with the aim of demanding vital changes to the UK’s “outdated” Gender Recognition Act (GRA).
The protest, set to go ahead on 5 September, is being organised by the same group of people behind a demonstration in July which attracted hundreds of participants.
Five weeks on, the UK government has still not committed to any gender recognition reforms – with Boris Johnson instead confirming that details of the 2018 public consultation won’t be released until at least after parliament’s summer recess.
Thaniel Dorian, one of the organisers of the protest, told PinkNews that the LGBT+ community must continue “putting pressure on the government” to listen to trans people and introduce vital reforms.
The UK government and Boris Johnson has ‘failed to deliver on a promise of reform’ to the Gender Recognition Act.
“In July our speakers put a lot of focus into not only their personal stories but also explaining the they are not a threat to gendered spaces,” Dorian said.
“We shouldn’t have to address fear mongering that demonises trans people, so our focus this time will really target the fact that the government has failed to deliver on a promise of reform and that there is work to be done to ensure that trans people in the UK feel protected and recognised.”
If you enforce single sex spaces that prevent trans people from safely using public toilets or accessing vital services such as sexual assault support services, you will have blood on your hands.
As it stands, the Gender Recognition Act is “slow, clunky and outdated”, according to Dorian – and trans and non-binary people are suffering while they wait for reform.
“It doesn’t provide any sort of recognition for non-binary people, and the panel judgement process lacks transparency,” he said.
“Other countries have proven that self-ID is the way forward to ensure equal rights for trans people. It’s time that the UK caught up.”
Trans people feel ‘unsafe and unsupported’ in the UK.
Dorian says the government’s refusal to budge on reform is “extremely disheartening” for the community, and leaves many trans people feeling “unsafe and unsupported”.
If Dorian could speak directly to the prime minister ahead of next month’s protest, he would tell him that his government will have blood on their hands if they don’t act soon.
“If you enforce single sex spaces that prevent trans people from safely using public toilets or accessing vital services such as sexual assault support services, you will have blood on your hands.
“Trans people feel unsafe, and your inability to protect marginalised people and enable them to thrive with equal rights and up to date self-ID laws will result in more suicide and more hate crimes.
He adds: “You cannot solve this problem by killing us off.”
People who want to attend the protest can find the full details on the Facebook event page.