Model, activist and author Munroe Bergdorf gave a powerful and emotional speech to thousands of trans and non-binary people in London today.
Bergdorf, one of Britain’s most prominent trans voices, was the first to speak in London’s Soho Square after the third London Trans+ Pride saw thousands of trans and non-binary people march through central London to demand trans liberation.
Chants and placards at the march focused on the trans healthcare crisis, safety for Black trans people and the beauty and abundance of trans, non-binary and intersex joy.
“Take a second to understand how important this is. How necessary this is. How beautiful this is,” Bergdorf said to an enthusiastic crowd of queer and trans people and their allies after the march.
She continued: “When we have spaces like this, it’s a reminder to see god in each other. Whatever god is. A higher power. To treat each other how we want to be treated.
“This is not a moment. We are not a moment. This is our legacy. As different as we are as individuals, we are reflections of each other – inextricably linked and spiritually bonded by community. This is evidence of community.
“We are stronger together. We cannot let idiotic countermovements like LGB Alliance and TERFs and gender-critical feminism tear us apart.”
At this, there was a long, loud cheer from the crowd who were packed into Soho Square and the surrounding streets.
“To me transness is divinity in its purest sense. To live in a world that does not see you, that ignores your suffering, that legislates against your existence, that strives to control your bodily autonomy, that simultaneously fetishes you and dehumanises our image. That is divine: to resist that daily.
“Still we show up, and we show out. And we keep on going. To me that is divine. That is strength. That is worthy of love, respect and peace. You only need to look around to see how many of us there truly are. No matter how isolated we have felt in our past, we are no longer silenced, we are no longer in the shadows, we are here. Take up this space. This space is yours!”
London Trans+ Pride is a response to the injustices that trans people face daily, all over the world. Now in its third year, the event has been attended by tens of thousands of trans and non-binary people.
Munroe Bergdorf continued: “I want to take time to give thanks to every trans and non-binary person who not only has the bravery to be here today but to go out into the world as yourself and put yourself as a priority. Putting yourself first in this world as a trans person is no mean feat. It takes nerve. It takes strength. And that should be applauded.”
“Transitioning is the pursuit of happiness as an everyday practice. The reality is we don’t know what’s around the corner. So many of us have known or know of someone who has been beaten, berated, attacked, murdered or forced into a position that they simply couldn’t see a way out. We show up for them. We show up for us. We show up for those who couldn’t be here today.
“This is what Pride is about.”
Lastly, Munroe Bergdorf asked the crowd to join her in saying: “F**k the Tories.” The crowd obliged, loudly.