June 27, 2020
Trans people and allies gathered in central London on Saturday to join a Black Trans Lives Matter protest.
Black Trans Lives Matter Rally Draws Crowds To Central London
Demonstrators marched from Wellington Arch to Downing Street in memory of Black trans lives lost, to celebrate the Black trans community and to protest against potential changes to the Gender Recognition Act.
Earlier in June, leaked plans showed the government planning to abandon reforms to the Gender Recognition Act – which campaigners say will cause a disproportionate amount of damage to the lives of Black trans women. 
The leak, first reported in the Sunday Times, stated that ministers have “ditched” plans to allow trans people to change their birth certificates without a medical diagnosis. 
Currently under the Gender Recognition Act (GRA), trans people must undergo a long process in order to change their birth certificates. For this reason, many do not and instead rely on the protection of the Equality Act 2010.
Amnesty International said the U-turn would “send a chilling message that the UK is a hostile place for trans people” and send the nation plummeting down the LGBTQ equality rankings. London says black trans lives matter 😭🏳️‍⚧️ pic.twitter.com/2KG5kcnJHf— National Student Pride (@studentpride) June 27, 2020The Sunday Times also reported that ministers plan to announce a ban on “gay cure” therapies, in what was described as an attempt to placate LGBTQ campaigners.
At the same time, the government was said to be preparing to set out new safeguards to “protect” female-only spaces, including refuges and public toilets.
“To announce these changes during a Black Lives Matter movement shows a deep lack of understanding of intersectionality and the role these changes will have in the continued oppression of Black trans women, who are one of the most at-risk groups in society,” said organisers beforehand in a call-out for people to join the protest.
The march, supported by LDNBLM and London Trans+ Pride, was organised for International Pride Day. The main Pride event in London was postponed due to Coronavirus, however demonstrators still turned out for the Black Trans Lives Matter march.very powerful moment at London’s Black trans lives matter protest: a minute of silence, with fists in the air, in memory of the gay victims of the terrorist attack in Reading ✊🏿🏳️‍🌈 pic.twitter.com/LgM6LpQQdM— Louis Staples (@LouisStaples) June 27, 2020 Many protesters were seen wearing face masks and carrying signs that read “silence is violence” and “support your sisters, not just your cis-ters”. 
Chants on the day included, “We will not be silenced”; “Black gay lives matter”; “Black queer lives matter”; “Black bi lives matter” and “Pan and Queer”.
One of the participants leading the chants, Abigail, 20, said the march went “really well” and “showed the idea of unity”.
“Unity is very important in activism and that all Black lives matter including Black lives that are queer and that don’t conform to what society tells us to conform to,” she told HuffPost UK.  “There was a strange sense of the Pride march that would have been happening today as the parade walked through Piccadilly Circus,” another participant, 30, told HuffPost UK.
“While the crowd was definitely queer, the atmosphere felt sombre – except when those leading the chanting occasionally broke to laugh and get a breath, and the whole crowd cheered.
“I couldn’t see the back of the parade and I’m 6ft 2. It stretched the length of Piccadilly from Hyde Park to beyond the Ritz.”Earlier in June, tens of thousands of people marched across US cities in support of Black trans people, following the killings of two Black trans Women in the space of 24 hours.
On June 9, Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, a Black transgender woman was killed in Philadelphia and 25-year-old Riah Milton, also Black and trans, was shot dead in Ohio.
Rallies in Brookyn, Chicago, Boston and San Antonio saw people rallying to campaign for the rights of Black trans people - a group that is particularly at risk of violence and of being killed. “Black trans women already experience more violence than any other oppressed queer identity,” the organisers of Black Trans Lives Matter in London said. “91% of victims in US trans murders in 2019 were Black trans women.”
“If the UK government is allowed to pass the proposed transphobic changes to the GRA and trans rights, transphobic violence and murder will undoubtedly increase.”
“Trans people will die if the proposed changes go through,” they concluded.Related... 'Something Here Is Unstoppable': Lady Phyll On 15 Years Of UK Black Pride 'You Just Want To Make Them Proud': My Parents, Allyship And Me Cressida Dick: Black Lives Matter Has Provided 'Powerful' Lessons But Met Isn't Racist
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