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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Wesley Holmes

Transgender people facing 'a campaign of vitriol'

Transgender people are facing "a co-ordinated campaign of vitriol and misinformation", campaigners have warned.

Hundreds of transgender people and allies gathered in Derby Square on Saturday to protest the government's decision to try to block Scotland's vote to reform its Gender Recognition Act, making it easier for transgender people to amend their birth certificates.

The proposed reform, which has been in the making for the past six years, does not affect trans people’s existing rights to access single-sex services, such as toilets and changing rooms, as these are already protected under the Equality Act 2010.

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The rally moved through the heart of the city to St George's Hall under placards which read 'Trans Rights' and 'We will not be erased'.

Activist Paul McGowan said: "Since 2015, reports of hate crimes related to sex or gender have increased year on year... which underscores a climate of fear being endured by our community on the streets of this country. Despite things changing over the 50 years since UK had its first pride march, and despite what police, establishment and big business-funded Pride organising officials say, Pride has got to be a protest.

"There's still such a long way to go before we can feel safe to be ourselves around our families and people in the streets.

"Trans people are currently facing an unprecedented and co-ordinated campaign of vitriol and misinformation in the media and by the establishment. The anti-gay onslaught in the 1980s which legitimised and reinforced the hostile environment for gay, lesbian and bisexual people, which led to Section 28 - we are seeing that now, with the exact same language being used.

"Today, the UK has moved onto trans people... back then, gay people were sexual predators, a gay lobby was brainwashing our children, being gay was a mental illness and just a phase, and gay rights was political correctness gone mad. Replace gay with trans in any of that and that is the state of the press we get today."

Olivia Masoja, of Polish Migrants Organise for Change, said: "Many members of our communities are trans or non-binary and they should be free to live without fear and oppression. Unfortunately this is not a value our government adheres to. We stand here united and show solidarity with our Scottish trans and non-binary comrades and send a clear message to the UK government. Trans rights are human rights.

"We will continue to fight for GRA reform. The ones in power have no right to tell us who we are in our bodies. This has to stop. It goes hand in hand with curbing our other rights.

"Battles are being fought all over the world for abortion, for marriage equality, racial justice, trans rights and migrant rights. It is not a coincidence that those who attack trans rights also spread politics of fear and exclusion, scapegoating those who are already marginalised."


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