Trans rights are human rights, protesters say

June 26, 2023
Rallying for rainbow rights on June 25. Photos: Peter Boyle

“Trans rights are human rights” chanted hundreds of people who marched through Gadi/Sydney on June 25. The protest was organised by the Rainbow Rights Coalition (RRC).

Over the past few months, drag as an art form has been under attack, said drag artist Cassandra the Queen. She said the root cause of transphobia stemmed from racism and imperialism.

“A lot of events have been closed down all around Australia just because we want to showcase our creativity, our identity and our self expression through drag.

“We are not doing anything harmful. It is very hurtful for us drag performers.” Her mesmerising performance moved many to tears.

Greens councillor Liz Atkins said the Inner West Council will soon be hosting a drag storytime and asked people to “come and defend it”.

King Woody, a drag king, also performed to loud applause.

Skye Dannaher, United Workers Union (UWU) transgender unionist and April Holcombe, co-convener of Community Action for Rainbow Rights (CARR), also spoke. Jess Hooley, a 78er, called on people to “resist the divisions in the LGBTIQ community”.

Darby Carr, a former Safe Schools coordinator, said the program had trained 8500 teachers and no one had voiced a concern. Carr called on Labor to reinstate the program which was axed in 2016.

The rally stopped at Pitt Street Uniting Church to hear from Minister Jo Ingpen, a trans woman.

The protest was endorsed by: The Original 78ers Association; NSW Civil Liberties Council; Fruits From Brazil; UWU; Pride In Protest; CARR; Socialist Alliance; NSW Greens; Muslim Collective; Australian Services Union; National Tertiary Education Union University of Sydney (USyd) branch; Human Rights Law Centre; USyd Queer Action Collective; USyd Women’s Collective; and Mark Gillespie (78er in a personal capacity).

RRC spokesperson Rachel Evans told Green Left she had been threatened by right-wing bigots in the lead-up to the rally but said it would not deter the movement for trans rights.

[The Rainbow Rights Coalition is organising a snap action against transphobe Donald Trump jnr and a Rainbow Rights Round Table on July 16.]

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