Portsmouth council flies trans and other inclusive flags outside offices
CAMPAIGNERS have welcomed a display of inclusive flags in front of Portsmouth’s civic offices ahead of a planned trans rights protest this weekend.
Flagpoles in Guildhall Square are currently flying the colours of trans, LGBTQ+ and non-binary people, as well as suffragettes.
It comes ahead of a two-day ‘peaceful’ protest in support of trans rights that has been organised over the weekend (October 16-17).
Attendees of the Standing Against Transphobia will meet as a conference hosted by women’s liberation group Filia – which is accused of being ‘transphobic’ – will be held inside the Guildhall.
One of the protest’s organisers, Councillor Claire Udy, said: ‘This is a clear message from the council that trans and non binary lives are valid.
‘It also sends a message that it is time to reclaim the women’s suffrage flag, which has been co-opted by a transphobic movement.’
And one trans woman from Portsmouth, 69-year-old Steph – who runs the Steph’s Place blog, said: ‘All the team at Steph’s Place are very grateful to the city council before the “fly the flag” event this weekend.
‘This has been a multi-group effort, working with stakeholders across the city and even in other countries. The massive support of Amnesty International, in particular, has been very welcome and humbling.
‘Trans and non-binary people are almost certainly the most stigmatised and marginalised community in society today, and in recent weeks, both the UN and EU have called out the government for the lack of progress in trans rights, measuring us as one of the most backward in western society.’
Just last month a peaceful trans rights protest was held outside a University of Portsmouth building as a talk on single-sex spaces by Woman’s Place UK took place inside.
Raquel Rosario-Sanchez, a spokeswoman for Filia, commented: ‘Filia holds the largest grassroots feminist conferences in Europe about a range of issues from male violence to trafficking to employment issues, disability issues, race and racism.
‘We have been targeted as a feminist organisation because we have come out in support of sex-based rights – the rights that are already enshrined in law.
‘We support everyone’s right to protest but we do not support the way these protesters target and vilify us as women just because we are enacting our rights.’