“You cannot cheer the Colston statue falling if you are not ready to examine what must fall inside yourself." Travis Alabanza
It's sad that in 2020, protests over basic human rights still need to be held. Over the past few years, there's been a hell of a lot of scaremongering in the media regarding trans rights, most recently culminating with JK Rowling's comments and essay on the topic. As a result of this scaremongering the British government seems to be proposing to scrap reforms to the Gender Recognition Act which have been in the works for years, along with implementing a number of other measures which will make life significantly more difficult for trans people.
On Saturday, I attended a trans rights protest at Bristol's College Green, organised in response to this. The protest was brilliantly organised by Trans Pride South West. Social distancing was well observed, with people sitting around on the green in small groups, the atmosphere felt accessible and warm, and there was a diverse group of truly inspiring speakers.
As a trans person, I often find myself feeling energised and empowered at events like these, simply from the feeling of being in a group of so many amazing trans people and allies. It's a privilege that I am able to feel that way. But more and more, I find myself wondering whether these feelings will be different at protests I attend in the future, as our rights are eroded further and further. What the government seems to be proposing is dangerous and will make life so much harder for trans folx all over the country - and as many of the speakers reminded us on Saturday, those who are already the most marginalised within our community will be the ones who are the hardest hit.
Trans Lives Matter.
Black Lives Matter.
Black Trans Lives Matter.
(If you were at the protest and would like to use one of these photos I'd be really happy to send you a web-sized version. You're very welcome to post my photos on facebook or instagram or any other platform you use, provided you credit me in the description. Equally, if anyone feels uncomfortable of having a photo of themselves up on the internet, please let me know and I can take it down. You can get in touch here if you want to ask me about any of those things!)