On the 29th of June 2022, a trans rights protest was held outside of 10 Downing Street. Both Claire & Steph gave speeches and said as follows:
Thank you for coming and supporting trans and non-binary rights at the Not Safe To Be Me protest. I am Steph, I am a 70-year-old, white, trans woman, and wearing a multi colour floral dress – my pro nouns are she/her.
With me today is Claire, Steph’s Place UK’s senior investigative journalist who will explain what work we do…….. and our sincere thanks to Trans Activism UK for inviting us.
About two years ago, I launched the Steph's Place website. At that time, it had just one purpose - to heighten trans visibility by demonstrating we are just ordinary people but faced with extraordinary challenges.
I never imagined that two years later, a fantastic team would be gathered around me..... that we would grow into an organisation that somehow became… a bit of a voice… for the trans community being on the radio live on Radio Four with 600,000 people listening.
But although most of our team are...let's say mature, we think young.
And, of course, even decades on ...we all still share… the suffering.
Suffering, which should be decreasing.....but it is not.
We all know it should be safe to be me......but it is not.
This Tory government – some members who have shades of fascism has seen to that.
They failed us regarding healthcare….. they failed us over GRA reform..........they failed us in relation to the conversion therapy ban.
This current Conservative government are indeed….all-round failures… toxic and… frankly .... inhumane.... even unwilling to bring in laws so our non-binary siblings can put an X on their passport.
Insults are thrown at us daily in the press, suggesting we are "gender ideology" ....but looking at you today..... all I see are people ..... REAL PEOPLE!
In 2020 The Times ran over 300 anti-trans stories invariably cloaking transphobia under the false narrative of women’s rights - not caring who they hurt. More recently, the Daily Mail ran five trans-hostile stories in one day….. with the sole intent to demonise a tiny minority.
And to you alleged, "Christians" in America, watching this speech from your ivory towers who, in reality, pick and choose which parts of your book you want to believe,….. who propagate hate and fascism, in the UK… pretending you support free speech ....I have a simple message.
You ain't no Christian.
True Christians do not take away bodily autonomy from women… abortion is a woman's right to choose.... nor take away trans healthcare ....or inspect the genitals of a kid in Florida… before knocking a ball about in a field hockey game.
Trans rights are human rights!
But despite those gender-critical Tories ….. the American based haters… and what the media throw at us........ despite the fact that here today are camera crews looking to paint us in the worst possible light........ to plaster over social media, and beyond............. I can absolutely assure you.... that we will win.
That one day, trans liberation will arrive ….and the reason for that ......is you.
The simple truth is that we have the numbers........., and every day, every day, ….there are more of us.
Right now, trans people are the most marginalised group in our country. But it will not always be like this,…. but we must keep fighting.
And if you are not trans, what can you do to help us?
You can help by using pronouns to show you are an ally of trans and non-binary people.
You can help by calling out transphobia .....the dislike or prejudice of trans people.
You can help by accepting we are all different.....that we all want.... indeed, deserve ............to be loved.
I want to leave you with the amazing words of Harvey Milk, a gay rights campaigner who was murdered in 1978…. words that inspired me to be a trans rights activist by replacing the word gay with trans.
“We must continue to speak out. And, most importantly, most importantly, every gay person must come out. As difficult as it is, you must tell your immediate family. You must tell your relatives. You must tell your friends, if indeed they are your friends. You must tell your neighbours. You must tell the people you work with. You must tell the people in the stores you shop in. And once they realise that we are indeed their children….. that we are indeed everywhere…… every myth……every lie, ….every innuendo will be destroyed ……once and for all.”
I am Steph. Thank you very much.
Claire then continued with her speech:
Good Afternoon Everyone.
My name is Claire, my pronouns are she/her, I am white, my hair is brown and I'm wearing black sandals, black jeans and a white blouse with butterflies on it.
Id like to start by echoing Steph in thanking Trans Activism UK for organising today’s event and inviting us to speak, and to you all for coming today to support the trans & non-binary community.
The last two years I've been at Stephs Place have been pretty bewildering, if I'm honest.
We proved that the Cass Review have deliberately discriminated against the trans community, excluding us from the governance and decision-making processes in that so-called ‘independent’ review.
We also found that there have been zero complaints made to NHS Trusts about trans women on ‘single sex’ wards – exposing misinformation from a certain peer of the realm.
And we revealed that the CQC are putting trans people’s lives at risk by leaving the GICs to run themselves without oversight, failing to inspect any adult GIC other than the Tavistock & Portman since the CQC started operating in 2008.
And then we have the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
Evidence of the EHRC working hand in hand with trans hostile hate groups and individuals. Defending hateful ‘beliefs’, enabling abuse of our community to continue unabated. Opposing GRA Reform in Scotland without any evidence of issues – because they couldn’t be bothered to look for any. Insisting trans people be excluded from any ban on conversion practices. And worst of all, undermining and attempting to remove our existing rights.
And then the EHRC claim that the truth we have uncovered is ‘unevidenced’. They're breaking every professional standard and completely failing in their intended purpose.
So much so that we submitted a 61 page document of evidence against the EHRC to the United Nations.
It’s almost unbelievable. But how did we get here?
We got here thanks to the UK Government, the UK Press, the EHRC, the Charity Commission, the CQC, the GMC, the GICs and the NHS – all of whom are actively working against us , making it unsafe to be transgender or non-binary in the UK today.
We were once a tolerant and progressive nation. But under successive Conservative Governments we’ve dropped from 1st to 14th in the Rainbow Index, and hate crime, violent crime, discrimination and abuse of trans people have all risen dramatically in that time.
Institutional Transphobia infects all levels of government and public service, poisoning everything it touches - starting right there in that building.
None of the political parties nor public bodies are interested in dealing with the problem, and the Government use it to deflect from their own innumerable failures – because its easier to blame our community than it is to fix the multiple social and economic crises that they have created.
It's not gone unnoticed. Both the Council of Europe and the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association have noted the transphobic rot at the heart of the UK’s institutions.
Some areas of the NHS are trying. The new Gender Clinic Pilots are having some success, but that’s a half step solution 10 years too late, and already becoming overwhelmed.
But NHS England refuses to help or actively hinders progress - like with GPs, or maternity or cancer care. They can’t even be honest about their new ‘Gender Dysphoria’ qualification, let alone take the steps needed to deal with conversion abuse practitioners in their own ranks. Instead, they invite them to conferences to hear what they have to say.
Then there’s the media. In my TED Talk last year, I noted that the UK Press were publishing around 2 articles a day about trans people. Today, it's about 7 articles a day. The less said about the BBC the better, hiding behind claims of impartiality while promoting hate.
The Independent Press Standards Organisation could easily improve things, by extending the editorial code to protect minority groups rather than just individuals. They refuse, enabling lies and hate instead.
But there’s hope.
The hateful ideology currently in power is in complete opposition to public sentiment, despite a manufactured moral panic that’s now in its sixth year. The majority of the public are largely supportive of us. On that metric alone we've already won.
And that’s because we’re visible. Visibility matters.
I’m proud of who I am, and I'm proud of my community and our allies.
No matter how unsafe those in power think they can make things, they can never take that pride away.
We’re visible, we have our own voices, and we won’t be silent about our mistreatment any longer.
To them I say - We're here to stay
Get used to it.