More than three thousand people marched outside 10 Downing Street this afternoon to protest against the government’s U-turn on the conversion ban therapy which, under the current proposal, will exclude transgender people. Crowds of people from the LGBT+ community and their allies made their voices heard during their protest, chanting ‘LGB with the T’ and ‘no ban no trans’, as well as turning to the Prime Minister’s home to say “shame”.
Several people have taken to the platform to share their stories and opinions on conversion therapy and the government’s track record in dealing with transgender people. Among those who took to the stands to share their story was a trans priest who told MyLondon, as well as the crowd of 3,000 attending the protest, that they were “fed up” with the so-called conversion therapy “done in the name of the God I love”. Sully added, “I narrowly escaped conversion therapy when I came out as trans.”
A 17-year-old who said he was subjected to so-called conversion therapy by his mother also spoke. They told the crowd: ‘If you want to convert me now Boris, give the fuck a try’, amid chants of ‘Boris needs therapy’.
READ MORE: Conversion therapy live protest: Updates as thousands of protesters gather in central London to halt traffic
Veteran LGBT+ activist Peter Tatchell told MyLondon: “The government’s double U-turn is proof of the chaos and mayhem in Downing Street. They come up with a clog policy based on the year and which MP is home. Obviously, any conversion therapy ban that does not include trans people is not a ban at all.
“We need to keep up the pressure to make sure that when the Bill comes to Parliament, MPs will seek to amend the Bill to include trans people. I’m quite confident there will be enough MPs, including trans people. Conservative MPs, who will vote for a trans-inclusive The battle is not over yet, we have a strong chance of winning in the end.
“When Boris Johnson promised a ban on conversion therapy, he ripped us off. He gave us a discriminatory half-baked ban that reinforces the suffering of trans people. This is not acceptable. We will never give up as long that trans people will not be included in the ban.
Among the crowd were stars of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK including Charity Kase, Elektra Fence, River Medway and Ella Vaday who all came out to support their trans siblings in their protest to be included in the conversion therapy ban . The crowd of 3,000 began demonstrating at 1 p.m. this afternoon, April 10, and their voices were heard for more than two hours.
Those who shared their experience openly were greeted with love and support by everyone in the crowd and one protester even used his moment on the platform to come out as a transgender man for the first time. . Representatives from charities and LGBT+ organizations across the UK have shared stories of the work they do and told how the government U-turn has been a setback to their efforts.
Jayne, an organizer for today’s action, addressed the flood of people who descended on central London, saying: “We didn’t think anyone would come but look at you all. C It’s sickening when the most victimized community that suffers the greatest hate crime is thrown under the bus by its own Prime Minister.
“What we need is a change of heart. We need to understand the harm that cisgender people have done. We need a total ban. We MUST keep trans people in the ban. None no other country has segregated LGBT people the way the UK has.”
The protest came following an initial government announcement last week that ministers were abandoning plans to ban conversion therapy, sparking a furious backlash. However, within hours the prime minister reportedly ‘changed his mind’ and a senior government source said legislation would be introduced. The government then said it was committed to a legislative ban, but that separate work was needed to “examine the issue of transgender conversion therapy further”.
The government’s landmark international LGBT+ conference was canceled earlier this week due to backlash over its “deeply shocking” decision to scrap the ban on conversion therapy for trans people. Due to take place in London from June 29, at least 100 organizations have pulled out of the Safe To Be Me conference. A series of high profile individuals and groups have also attacked the government.
You can help support the LGBT+ community by signing their petition for change. The petition titled “Ensure trans people are fully protected under any ban on conversion therapy” has already received nearly 85,000 signatures. When it reaches 100,000 signatures, this petition will be debated in Parliament.
Trainee journalist – LGBT+ specialist. Previously worked for Daily Star, The Sun, Brixton Blog and South West Londoner.
Three stories written this month include an in-depth interview with LGBTQ+ activist Peter Tatchell ahead of the 50th anniversary of UK Gay Pride, an interview with a former lieutenant commander who had to keep his sexuality a secret in the armed forces for 20 years who lost his partner to AIDS two days before leaving the Navy and a conversation with the founder of The Gay Men’s Dance Company which offers vocational training, pole dancing and a dance class in heels.
You have a story? You can reach me at [email protected] or DM me on Twitter @mattlspivey.