Protesters gathered at Manchester Central Convention Complex to fight for rights for the trans community.
The protest took place after a speech by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at the Conservative Party conference on October 4th were deemed ‘transphobic’.
“We shouldn’t get bulled into believing that people can be any sex they want to be. They can’t,” Sunak told the audience, who applauded in response. “A man is a man, and a woman is a woman, that’s just common sense.”
Health Secretary Steve Barclay used his conference speech to announce government plans to change the NHS constitution to ban trans women from being treated in female only wards. Mr Barclay says the move, which would also ban trans men from men’s wards, would respect the rights of people who want intimate care from someone of the same sex.
The protest was organised by Trans Pride Manchester and took place on October 15.
One of the organisers began the protest by standing on at the top of the stairs, looking over the crowd and saying into a microphone: “Trans people are not responsible for the desperately underfunded NHS. Trans people are not the reason our national debt had more than doubled since 2010. Trans people are not responsible for our crippling mortgage rates, our record high inflation and our ever increasing energy bills. Refugees are not the problem, migrants are not the problem, trans people are not the problem.”
Sammy (they/them) attended the protest. They said: “Tories are only using trans people as a surface level issue when there’s so many things wrong with the country that they need to do something about, but they just won’t.”
They continued to explain why they were protesting, saying: “Trans people won’t be victims.”
Morgan (she/her), who is a trans woman, explained: “I want to be out [protesting] to show that we’re here and we can’t be ignored.”
Will, who is gender fluid and uses any pronouns, then spoke to me about how they feel about Sunak’s comments at the Conservative party conference. They said: “He won’t stop if he gets away with victimising trans people, it’ll be the rest of the queer community that’s targeted next and then other minorities.
“It’s not hate because it’s justified, it’s hate because it’s hate.”