Every year since it began half a decade ago, Trans+ Pride grows larger. Both a protest against the inhumanity of a transphobic society and a celebration of trans humanity, this day (this year, the eighth of July in London) provided a vital space in which the trans* community and our accomplices can gather in shared solidarity while po-faced, unwelcome cops and journalists from institutions riddled with bigotry looked on. It was an opportunity to reassert our existence, joy, rage, and love. (Notably, the BBC even bars staff from participating in any Pride event, as documented by Chantelle Billson and Michael Baggs for PinkNews.)
Also reported by Chantelle Billson for PinkNews, Bristol Pride this year banned all major political parties from attending their event since they are all so utterly mired in anti-queer bigotry. (While the Tory Party is certainly the worst offender, the others have been catastrophically bad too; Labour, SNP, English Greens, and the Lib Dems have each, in turn, failed queer and trans people, and their collective cowardice and hate should never be forgotten nor forgiven, even if it can still be reversed.)
The result of politicians of every persuasion routinely advocating for hate against a tiny minority is a massive increase in attacks, be they institutional or literal. This has sometimes seen trans people subjected to gruesome violence, including in the murder of Brianna Ghey—whose blood stains the halls of power in Westminster. And not even pride is protected from everyday hate, as an incident in Bristol painfully demonstrated. (ITV covered the story of an attack on a pride picnic.)
Nor can trans* people look to authority for hope. A recent court case taken by Mermaids against the anti-trans hate group LGB Alliance was dismissed by a judiciary that routinely favours transphobes over trans lives, despite one of the two judges agreeing with the plaintiffs that LGBA should never have been granted charitable status. The dismissal was plainly not on the case’s merits but on Mermaids’ technical standing. Like the media and political class, the British legal system is not there for trans people. You can read statements on the case from Mermaids and The Good Law Project.
Predictably, typically, the media has largely ignored the tens of thousands who marched and partied on the streets of London this last Saturday. Notable exceptions to that risible silence are the Independent, whose Kaan K and Angela Christofilou’s emphasised the vital fightback ahead of the trans* community, and the ever-stalwart PinkNews, whose Amelia Hansford helped to augment trans* voices and, in a further article, had Maggie Baska report on a superb speech by Munroe Bergdorf about the Tory’s invented moral panic.
A*CR was also in attendance, whether cis members showing solidarity or trans people participating. We were happy to see other representatives from the socialist and labour movements, from unions such as the NEU to our rs21 comrades—whose work setting up the Trans Strike delegations’ group has organised trans people to attend important healthcare worker pickets and build vital new links. The unions, however, still need to show up in greater numbers, as the struggle requires a more robust display of support than has yet been managed at this or past Trans+ Prides.
This year’s Trans+ Pride embodied the hope that every socialist should share, one of a better world rooted in human freedom and flourishing. The costumes and placards displayed were a magnificent testament to the creativity and power of the exploited and marginalised, whose exclusion lends a broader potential perspective on society, encompassing both our own marginalisation and the narrower worldviews of those who seek to diminish us.
Ultimately, Trans+ Pride was a glimpse into the utopia the world can and should be, a world for everyone—cis or trans—to uncompromisingly become more themselves, a world where the conflicts that propel humanity are philosophical and artistic, rather than between a few who would exploit the majority, and those whose humanity is denied to facilitate that system of universally denigrating domination.
Want to participate in the fightback? Join Anti*Capitalist Resistance and become a member of our Trans*Mission group!
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