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U.K. LGBTQ+ groups protest Trans-exclusionary conversion therapy ban

“It is apparent that Trans people have once again been sacrificed for political gain- this is callous and unacceptable”



The Palace of Westminster home of the House of Commons and the House of Lords (Photo Credit: UK Government)

LONDON – More than 80 LGBTQ+ rights groups, including Stonewall, will pull out of the U.K. government’s first global LGBTQ+ conference after Prime Minister Boris Johnson reportedly decided to exclude Trans people from a conversion therapy ban. 

Johnson’s move was first reported by ITV News U.K. editor Paul Brand, who tweeted last week that legislation would cover “only gay conversion therapy, not trans.” That was a reversal from a previous ITV report of a Downing Street briefing that said Johnson agreed to not move forward with legislation banning conversion practices, despite years of promises from the government. The fierce backlash to the move caused Johnson to change course. 

However, the U-turn was not enough for LGBTQ+ campaigners, who announced Monday they would pull out of the U.K.’s first “Safe To Be Me” conference “due to the Prime Minister’s broken promise on protecting trans people from the harms of conversion therapy,” Stonewall said in a statement.  

“We will only be able to participate if the Prime Minister reverts to his promise for a trans-inclusive ban on conversion therapy,” it added. 

Stonewall said it made the decision with a “heavy heart,” explaining the conference “should be a moment for redoubling efforts globally to improve LGBTQ+ people’s rights and experiences.” However, last week’s plan to scrap the conversion therapy ban and Johnson’s subsequent reversal – which “protects lesbian, gay and bi cis people, but leaves trans people, including trans children, at continued risk of abuse” – left it “with no choice but to withdraw our support,” the organization said. 

“It is apparent that trans people have once again been sacrificed for political gain,” the statement added. “Commissioning a separate body of work to unpick something that has already been resolved many times the world over, can only be read as an attempt to kick the issue of protecting trans people into the long grass. This is callous and unacceptable.”

Over 80 LGBTQ+ rights groups in the U.K. supported Stonewall’s statement, including LGBT Foundation, Mermaids and the Scottish Trans Alliance, according to the Guardian

“[The government’s] subsequent U-turn was an insulting attempt at compromise that excluded our trans, non-binary and gender-diverse community,” the LGBT Foundation tweeted. “To be clear, our rights cannot be conditional on political convenience or expediency.”


United Kingdom

UK government criminalizes possession of puberty blockers

The UK government’s actions are extreme among liberal democracies. No U.S. state has criminalized possession of HRT medications



Britain's King Charles III greeting UK Conservative Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Victoria Mary Atkins at Buckingham Palace. (Photo Credit: UK Government)

By Erin Reed | LONDON, UK – On Friday, the National Health Service, (NHS England) sent a letter to every patient on the waiting list for puberty blockers, stating that possession of such blockers will be considered a crime.

The letter follows an edict issued by Conservative Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Victoria Mary Atkins and also mandates that transgender youth who obtained their puberty blockers through private doctors must discontinue their medication.

This letter and edict mean that the United Kingdom now has some of the harshest policies targeting transgender youth of any liberal democracy in the world.

On May 29th, Atkins announced on twitter, “Today I have taken bold action to protect children following the Cass Review, using emergency powers to ban puberty blockers for new treatments of gender dysphoria from private clinics and for all purposes from overseas prescribers into Great Britain.”

Following the announcement, she linked to an edict declaring an “emergency prohibition” on puberty blockers in England, Wales, and Scotland.

The prohibition relies on a decades-old law that allows for the emergency prohibition of medications without the need for a full legislative process; no vote was taken on the edict, and the order was issued just before parliament dissolved for the general election, meaning it could not be overturned.

According to UK-based advocate Trans Safety Now, the last and only time such powers were used was in response to deaths among users of an herb found in some Chinese medicine in 1999. Jo Maugham, who leads the Good Law Project, stated about the use of these powers, “It is breathtaking that thousands or tens of thousands of loving families are going to be criminalized by a law made by a Minister, never approved by Parliament, subject to no consultation and the media is not reporting it.”

On Friday, following the announcement, Lee Hurley of Trans Writes released a copy of a letter sent to families on the NHS waiting list for puberty blockers. The letter indicates that those receiving puberty blockers from the NHS can continue taking them.

However, given the enormous wait lists, a substantial number of families opted to get their puberty blockers through private practitioners registered in the European Economic Area or Switzerland—a fully legal practice in the United Kingdom.

For those receiving their care through those systems, the letter states, “You will need to stop taking GnRH analogues unless you are newly prescribed them by a UK-registered doctor, nurse, or pharmacist. These medications can be safely stopped and you do not need to be weaned off.”

Critically, the edict does not only target providers; it also targets patients and their families. The letter states, “It will also be a criminal offence to possess these medicines, where the individual had reasonable cause to know that the medicine had been sold or supplied in breach of the ban.”

When asked about this provision, Jo Maugham stated, “It basically says puberty blockers are being treated like other illegal drugs like cocaine and heroin.” He then followed up with the applicable law, which indicates that those who violate the ban could be imprisoned for two years.

The decision comes following the publication of the Cass Review, a highly politicized document developed with a secretive list of advisors, some of whom were later found to be meeting regularly with political operatives of Republican Governor Ron DeSantis in Florida. These meetings were in support of a ban on transgender care in the state. One advisor, Dr. Riittakerttu Kaltiala, held numerous meetings with DeSantis’ handpicked anti-trans doctors, such as Dr. Patrick Hunter of the Catholic Medical Association, according to court documents challenging actions taken by Florida targeting transgender care.

Even Dr. Cass herself attended at least one of these meetings. Both the Endocrine Society and the American Academy of Pediatrics have since issued statements rejecting the Cass Review, stating, “Medical evidence, not politics, should inform treatment decisions.”

The actions being taken by the United Kingdom government are extreme among liberal democracies. In the United States, no state has explicitly criminalized the possession of gender-affirming care medications.

The closest any state has come is Texas, where in 2022, Governor Greg Abbott attempted to investigate the parents of transgender youth for child abuse. These investigations were subsequently blocked in court by Texas judges, who are notably quite conservative.

There may still be more avenues to access medication in the United Kingdom. The order does not cover hormone therapy, for instance, so some transgender youth who are taking puberty blockers could potentially opt to transition to hormone therapy earlier than planned. Additionally, puberty blockers can be administered via injection or implantation, which might provide alternative methods for those affected.

Gender GP, one of the largest private providers in the United Kingdom of transgender care, said in a statement, “We know that the interference in medicine and healthcare by the government will lead to serious harm for millions of patients and even death including those within the trans community. We remain committed to working with the government and the community to find solutions to prevent harm wherever it exists.”

Jo Maugham of the Good Law Project stated of a potential challenge to the edict, “An urgent legal challenge is being prepared to these highly irresponsible regulations and we will help to fund it,” requesting donations to support the challenge. As of noon on May 31, 2024, Greenwich Time UK, the crowd funder raiser was 70% funded.


Erin Reed is a transgender woman (she/her pronouns) and researcher who tracks anti-LGBTQ+ legislation around the world and helps people become better advocates for their queer family, friends, colleagues, and community. Reed also is a social media consultant and public speaker.


The preceding article was first published at Erin In The Morning and is republished with permission.

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UK murder trial texts show moral imperative to end anti-Trans hate

Anti-trans sentiment and rampant transphobia in the United Kingdom may have played a role in the murder of Brianna Ghey



Brianna Ghey (Family photo)

Editor’s note: Extreme discretion is advised on reading this story. It contains explicit descriptions of violence and transphobia beyond what I typically report on.

By Erin Reed | MANCHESTER, UK –  As a transgender journalist, I am reporting on a profoundly difficult story. In the United Kingdom, the trial of Brianna Ghey’s alleged murderers has begun, during which the prosecutors presented evidence that could lead to their conviction. Before delving further, it’s crucial to understand that the details in this case exhibit extreme transphobia and depravity, resulting in the killing of a young, beautiful transgender teenage girl, targeted for being different.

Under UK law, it is imperative to stress that these are allegations presented at trial, and I am obligated in my own reporting to refrain from referring to the defendants as her “killers” or “murderers” to prevent a mistrial due to the extremely low bar of “prejudicing a trial” there. This case highlights the systematic violence and rhetoric against transgender people and how such attitudes contributed to this abhorrent killing.

The details of this case are explicit, especially with regards to the evidence presented on the first day of the trial, and I advise extreme caution for transgender readers or parents of transgender children reading further.

I have made the decision to republish these messages in a story specifically because I believe that the alleged text messages show the violent, brutal nature of transphobia and what a transphobic society enables. The messages are not just cruel and horrific, they contain elements of all of the things said by the most ardent anti-trans activists, TERFs, and grifters who have made targeting transgender people with hate a full time career.

Brianna Ghey was a 16 year old transgender girl, TikTok creator, and a “beacon of positivity” according to her friends. She would often film videos set to music while showing off her makeup or walking in a park. It was in one of these parks that her life was taken in in February of this year.


In the immediate aftermath of her murder, countless people mourned for her and decried the senseless violence. Her TikToks became makeshift memorials with millions of likes and views. Days later, two teens near her age were arrested and charged with her murder.

Many people considered the idea that anti-trans sentiment and rampant transphobia in the United Kingdom may have played a role in her murder. A study indicated that the Daily Mail, a leading British newspaper, had more negative coverage of transgender people in 2023 than in the previous four years combined. Public figures such as JK Rowling and Maya Forstater have been criticized for normalizing transphobia, advocating against gender-affirming care, and labeling transgender activists as “rapist rights activists.” 

Brianna Ghey tragically experienced this transphobia. Days before her murder, she posted a TikTok about being excluded from school. Damian Harry, whose daughter was friends with Brianna, confirmed this, saying, “She said she was devastated by the constant abuse and even talked of ending it all. It was down to her being trans. It is disgusting what happened.”

The following will include text messages that are very graphic and disturbing. Extreme discretion is advised.

In evidence released today by the prosecution, her alleged killers allegedly sent text messages showing they internalized this hate of transgender people towards Brianna. In these alleged text messages presented at the trial, the teens discuss Brianna in a way many transgender people are very familiar with: one of the defendants speaks to the other about finding her beautiful and fascinating, potentially indicating even attraction toward her. The other responds in dehumanizing terms, calling Brianna an “it” and asking if she was “a femboy or a trnny.”

See the text messages from local journalist, Jess O’Thomson, here:

Transgender people are very familiar with the idea of people finding us attractive and then also feeling anger. This theme is very common in transphobic killings of intimate trans partners and sex workers. In the United States, the trans panic defense has been used to get many such killers off of murder charges after they killed a transgender person they were intimate with.

Likewise, most transgender activists will find in their private inboxes salacious DMs from people who openly advocate for our erasure and for laws targeting us. Viral posts then shame lesbians who date trans women for “not being real lesbians.”

Far-right Britain First party leader Paul Golding similarly tweeted that men dating trans women “makes [them] GAY.” Portraying attraction to a transgender person as shameful contributes to an environment where some people feel so much shame, they may be motivated to kill the target of their attraction.

The alleged text messages then continue towards the planning of Brianna’s death. In one of the messages, one teen tells the other that they sneakily fed Brianna ibuprofen tablets in order to kill her, but that she proved too resilient. This tracks with reports from Brianna’s mother that she had severe abdominal pain earlier in the year and was nearly brought to the hospital. They would allegedly continue to try to poison her as revealed in the text messages. Specifically, one of the text messages stated that “people already know she is depressed and shit so nobody would get sus.”

It is in these alleged text messages that we find another familiar factor where transphobia contributed to Brianna’s harm. Transgender people are known to have high suicide rates, specifically because of transphobia and gender-based victimization. In one study, bullying or physical assault at school lead to suicide attempt rates as high as 63%. These disturbing text messages paint a picture of teenagers using this fact to their advantage to literally help them get away with murder.

Ultimately, the alleged text messages show that they allegedly settle on a plan to kill Brianna, with one horrifyingly wondering if she would “scream like a man or a girl.” The plan details their alleged decision to proceed with Brianna’s murder, the words they would use to initiate it, and the knife that would be used to stab her. Brianna Ghey’s body would be found stabbed 28 times.

Brianna Ghey was targeted for nothing more than being true to herself in a society that often vilifies transgender people. Violent rhetoric targeted towards transgender people has included advocacy for “eradication.” Prominent anti-trans figures, such as Hellen Joyce of the UK-based organization Sex Matters, have advocated for “a reduction” in the number of trans individuals, labeling them a “huge problem for a sane world.” This stigmatization and the resulting bullying and violence contribute to increased suicidality and loss of transgender lives. Brianna Ghey’s tragic fate was not solely at the hands of individual alleged aggressors, but also a reflection of a society deeply entrenched in transphobia, a trend that will continue to fuel these incidents unless something changes.

While the individual alleged actions of the accused paint a violent picture of two depraved individuals, it is important to realize that this violence does not occur within a vacuum. In 1998, Matthew Shepard was killed in a similarly violent manner in Laramie, Wyoming. His death lead to a massive public outcry demanding an end to the public culture of homophobia pervasive at the time. Brianna Ghey’s killing reveals similar forces at work, and must lead to similar reform.

As one of her close friends said, “If Bri would have wanted anything from her passing, it would be change.”


Erin Reed is a transgender woman (she/her pronouns) and researcher who tracks anti-LGBTQ+ legislation around the world and helps people become better advocates for their queer family, friends, colleagues, and community. Reed also is a social media consultant and public speaker.

Follow her on Twitter (Link)

Website here:


The preceding article was first published at Erin In The Morning and is republished with permission.

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Controversial anti-LGBTQ+ minister fired: UK PM reshuffles cabinet

The prime minster is also facing renewed calls and anger over the omission of announcing a ban on conversion therapy in the King’s Speech



Prime Minister Rishi Sunak addressing reporters outside No. 10 Downing Street, the official residence and offices of the UK Prime Minister. (Screenshot/YouTube Channel 4 News UK)

LONDON, UK – Suella Braverman, the controversial British Home Secretary who was fired by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in a phone call Monday, fired back publicly Tuesday releasing a scathing three page resignation letter accusing Sunak of ‘not having a plan’ and failing to deliver promises made to the British people on among other items, hot button immigration and crime prevention issues.

Braverman, took office in October 2022 as Home Secretary while Sunak formed a new government after former British Prime Minister Liz Truss stepped down on her fiftieth day in office amid a government crisis, making her the shortest-serving prime minister in British history.

The former Home Secretary was known for her far-right conservative views and in the past year had made a series of public comments in speeches and in the press that derided LGBTQ+ people, asylum seekers, and illegal immigrants. Her remarks disparaging trans gender British females oft times echoes similar sentiments stated publicly by the prime minister.

This past June at a Conservative Party conference, the prime minster was caught on a video clearly mocking trans females.

The prime minster makes reference to an opposition leader, although that person is not clearly identified. Sunak then took aim at Sir Edward Jonathan Davey, a British politician who has served as Leader of the Liberal Democrats since 2020.

“Over the same period of time, you might have noticed Ed Davey has been very busy,” Sunak says. “Like me, you can probably see that he was trying to convince everybody that women clearly had penises.

“You’ll all know that I’m a big fan of everybody studying maths to 18, but it turns out that we need to focus on biology,” the prime minister added.

A recent YouGov UK international online research data and analytics technology group poll conducted earlier this month found that 49 per cent of British voters wanted Braverman sacked.

PinkNewsUK reported calls for Sunak to fire Braverman have gotten louder over the course of last week, after she hit out at peaceful pro-Palestine protesters labeling their marches in London as ‘hate marches’ and she also accused the Metropolitan Police of bias, which officers have said sparked far-right attacks on members of the force.

On issues over LGBTQ+ Britons, the former Home Secretary in October said that trans women should not be treated in female hospital wards. In an interview with Sky News, she said: “Trans women have no place in women’s wards or, indeed, any safe space relating to biological women.

“The health secretary’s [Steve Barclay] absolutely right to clarify and make it clear that biological men should not have treatment in the same wards and in the same safe spaces as biological women. This is about protecting women’s dignity, safety, and privacy and that’s why I’m incredibly supportive.”

In September, in her speech to the American Enterprise Institute, a right wing think-tank in Washington D.C., Braverman on the subject of political asylum remarked: “Where individuals are being persecuted, it is right that we offer sanctuary. But we will not be able to sustain an asylum system if, in effect, simply being gay or a woman, and fearful of discrimination in your country of origin, is sufficient to qualify for protection.”

In an interview with PinkNewsUK after her speech in Washington, Sebastian Rocca, the founder and chief executive of LGBTQ+ asylum charity Micro Rainbow, believes Braverman is trying to scapegoat migrants.

“The comments made by the home secretary are deeply disturbing,” he said. “LGBTQI people often face death, imprisonment and violence. When they come to the UK to seek safety, they have to go through an asylum system that is re-traumatising and dehumanising. In addition, the standard of proof is very high,” Rocca said.

“The system, as it is, is incredibly difficult. These comments seek to scapegoats migrants and LGBTQI people for political gain once again,” he added.

A new dynamic in attitude towards Britain’s LGBTQ+ community?

In addition to sacking Braverman, the prime minster radically overhauled his team in the cabinet reshuffle including adding former UK Prime Minster Lord David Cameron as the new British foreign secretary.

James Cleverly, whose job Lord Cameron took over, was named as home secretary. His positions on most LGBTQ+ issues is in line with the Tory Party generally, however PinkNewsUK noted that while Cleverly has never voted on same-sex marriage, he expressed his support for equality in a blog post first published in 2005 titled “I like marriage”.

“Gay ‘marriage’ takes nothing away from heterosexual marriage and while there will be some civil partnerships which are done for the wrong reasons the same can be said of straight marriage. Best of luck I say,” he wrote.

He has also expressed support for LGBTQ+ inclusive education and for LGBTQ+ people in the military – but he did face some criticism when he said gay football fans would have to be “respectful” when travelling to Qatar for the World Cup.

Overall the British LGBTQ+ publication reported, is that the new Home Secretary is “an obvious step up from Braverman.”

Lord Cameron’s record on LGBTQ+ rights, especially while serving as prime minister, PinkNewsUK reported has been favorable. He voted in favor of civil partnerships in 2004 and in favor of the Equality Act in 2007, and later voted in favor of same-sex marriage.

Former Health Secretary Steve Barclay’s departure is a relief for some LGBTQ+ Britons, especially in light of his recent campaign against trans people in the British healthcare system.

In a speech at the Conservative Party conference in October, Barclay spoke out about his plans to introduce “sex-specific” language throughout the health service when referring to treatments and advice for menopause and some types of cancer. In the same speech, he announced plans to ban trans people from single-sex wards.

However Barclay’s replacement has had a troubling record on transgender healthcare issues. In 2018, Atkins – who was then minister for women – was criticized when she called for “caution” before treating young transgender people in an interview with The Telegraph.

“The treatments are so serious and life-changing. I’m a little cautious of the use of those treatments because of the potential for the rest of their lives,” she said.

The prime minster is also facing renewed calls and anger over the omission of announcing a ban on conversion therapy in the King’s Speech. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has been urging Sunak to uphold a pledge to enact a ban on the discredited practice.

The BBC reported that earlier this year the EHRC wrote to the government to urge them to include the legislation in the speech, which sets out the government’s priorities for the coming years.

A spokesperson for EHRC told the BBC: “We have long supported proposals to end these practices. Conversion practices, aimed at changing someone’s sexual orientation or personal understanding of their own gender, can be incredibly harmful to people with the protected characteristics of sexual orientation and gender reassignment.

“We will continue to stand ready to provide expert advice and hope the government will uphold its commitment to ban harmful conversion practices.”

Its lack of inclusion in the King’s Speech is thought to be over disagreements within the Conservative Party the BBC noted regarding what form a ban should take, and concerns over how it could impact freedom of expression around issues such as gender identity, as well as any potential impact on religious freedoms.

Robbie de Santos, Director of External Affairs at Stonewall UK, told the BBC: “[The government] has given the green light for the abuse against LGBTQ+ people to continue unchecked. “Rather than getting mired in a cynical cultural war, it should be making decisions based on what the evidence and expertise said.”

‘I trusted you’ – Suella Braverman delivers brutal resignation letter to Rishi Sunak:

Additional reporting from the BBC and PinkNewsUK

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UK lifts travel ban on Ugandan opposition leader over homophobic song lyrics

Bobi Wine had been prohibited from country since 2014



Bobi Wine (Screen capture via ABC News YouTube)

LONDON — The U.K. has lifted a travel ban on Robert Kyagulanyi, a renowned Ugandan rapper known as Bobi Wine who has become the leader of the country’s opposition, over a 2014 song with homophobic lyrics.

Wine on Sunday confirmed the British government’s decision after about 10 years of being banned from his controversial anti-gay lyrics perceived to incite homophobic attacks against individuals he referred to as “battymen.”

“I am very glad to inform you that the ban against me from entering the U.K. has finally been overturned, and I will soon be visiting the U.K. after more than 10 years,” he said. 

The homophobic lyrics the LGBTQ+ rights groups cited in petitioning the British government to ban him from traveling to the U.K. were: “Fire will burn the batty man. Burn all the batty man. All Ugandans get behind me and fight the batty man.”    

LGBTQ+ rights activists in a petition they launched in July 2014 on demanded the British Home Office “immediately” deny Wine’s entry into the country and cancel his concerts in London and Birmingham. 

The petitioners accused Wine of writing “blatant homophobic lyrics (that) call for gay people to be attacked or killed” and cited the U.K.’s 2008 Criminal Justice and Immigration Act that criminalizes the incitement of hatred based on sexual orientation. The activists said that allowing Wine to proceed with his two concerts in August of the same year would “raise tensions” and prove “unacceptable” to the U.K., which “prides itself on tolerance and understanding.” 

The petitioners not only wanted Wine banned from performing in the U.K., but also in the Netherlands, France, Sweden, Denmark and other European countries. 

Wine at the time was unremorseful and stressed he would not be coerced into backing homosexuality by the cancellation of his performances to support the Ebonies, a Ugandan drama and music group. 

“I am a Ugandan and not a Londoner and I’m following the Ugandan constitution,” Wine told a Ugandan media outlet. “I did not make the laws, I follow them.”

He also claimed his strong anti-gay position was a reflection of “99 percent of Ugandans” and mocked so-called proponents of homosexuality for priding themselves in “their liberalism and support for human rights.” He demanded they allow “me my right of expression,” even if they were not comfortable with his homophobic opinion.    

Wine’s controversial anti-gay stand also included criticism of then-U.S. President Barack Obama over his support of LGBTQ+ rights in response to Uganda’s 2014 Anti-Homosexuality Act that imposed a life sentence for gay people. The country’s Constitutional Court overturned it.

Wine in 2017 entered politics and won a seat in the Ugandan Parliament. He ran against incumbent President Yoweri Museveni, who rules the country with an iron first, in 2021. 

Wine, who is a member of the National Unity Platform, is currently Uganda’s opposition leader. He has been vocal in demanding the international community hold Museveni accountable for his government’s widespread human rights violations.     

While acknowledging the British government’s move to lift his travel ban, Wine applauded his lawyers in England for the “relentless fight” and his political supporters, including those in the diaspora, for “constantly raising our voice through protests” and petitioning higher offices. 

“Their main argument has been that it is unfair to open their doors for Gen. Museveni, a world-renowned tyrant, and yet continue to shut the door for me who, together with many others are trying to build a free and democratic country,” he said. 

His sentiments are in response to Museveni’s democracy and human rights record, particularly his signing of the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 into law in May. 

Several Western nations have imposed sanctions on Uganda and several government officials behind the punitive law. The Biden-Harris administration last week announced plans to remove Kampala a program that allows sub-Saharan African countries to trade duty-free with the U.S.

The U.S. announcement came after increased pressure on Museveni to reverse the implementation of the law and meeting with several Ugandan human rights activists and exiled dissidents. 

Kakwenza Rukirabashaija, an award-winning Ugandan author who is exiled in Germany, has written books that are critical of Museveni’s governance. He applauded the U.S. decision and noted his and other activists’ visit to the State Department earlier this year.

“We, a few months ago visited the Department of State in the USA and explained how Uganda as a beneficiary of AGOA (African Growth and Opportunity Act) would violate the American foreign policy on human rights,” said Rukirabashaija on his X account. “I’m glad that they listened. May you continue to listen to the cries of Ugandans.” 

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UK Black Pride marks 18 years of empowerment

Phyll Opoku-Gyimah founded event in 2005



Phyll Opoku-Gyimah founded UK Black Pride in 2005. (Photo courtesy of Opoku-Gyimah's Instagram page)

By Elvis Kachi | LONDON — In a world where diversity and inclusivity are increasingly valued, UK Black Pride stands as a beacon of empowerment and celebration. As it prepares to mark its 18th anniversary on Saturday, the event continues to shine a spotlight on the experiences, struggles and triumphs of LGBTQ individuals from Black, Asian, and other minority ethnic backgrounds. With each passing year, UK Black Pride grows stronger, amplifying its message of unity, acceptance, and change.

Founded by Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, affectionately known as Lady Phyll, in 2005, the event emerged from the necessity to create a space that speaks directly to the intersection of race and LGBTQ identity. Traditional Pride events, while important, often fall short in fully addressing the unique challenges faced by individuals who belong to both marginalized communities. Recognizing this gap, UK Black Pride was born with the intention to provide a platform for underrepresented voices.

The essence of UK Black Pride lies in its commitment to fostering unity within diverse communities. 

“UK Black Pride’s Community Stage is where thought-provoking discussions intertwine with the performances of emerging musicians and talented spoken word artists,” UK Black Pride says in a statement. “This event celebrates the kaleidoscope of identities that exist within the LGBTQ+ spectrum, highlighting the beauty of difference while erasing the lines that have historically divided us. Attendees find solace in connecting with people who share their experiences, building a support network that extends beyond the event itself.”

Over the years, UK Black Pride has not only created a safe space but also played a crucial role in amplifying the visibility of LGBTQ individuals of color, and this year’s no different. Visibility is key to breaking down stereotypes, dispelling misconceptions, and creating a world that values and respects all identities. This year, programs that prioritize health, such as breast cancer and Best for My Chest Campaign, refugees, finding and building connections, faith, sexuality, and even poems, would go in full swing. The anniversary, which NYX Professional Makeup has sponsored, would serve as a reminder of the progress made, and the battles yet to be fought.

Only recently, it was reported that two queer people were stabbed outside a south London nightclub. This is testament of the rife homophobia that continues to trump the country. It is also this premise upon which UK Black Pride is built. The 18th anniversary therefore becomes a testament to the resilience of both the event itself, and the communities it represents. Against the backdrop of ongoing struggles for equality and justice, this celebration offers a moment of joy and triumph. It stands as a symbol of the strength found in unity and the determination to overcome challenges. To this vain, music genres like Afrobeats and Amapiano will be played from leading DJs like DJ Biggy C, Scarlett K, DIBS, etc. 

As UK Black Pride enters its 18th year, its impact continues to extend beyond the event itself. The visibility it creates, the conversations it sparks, and the connections it forges all contribute to a broader cultural shift. 

“With each passing year, the event moves us closer to a world where everyone’s identity is embraced, and discrimination is a thing of the past. This event, born out of necessity, continues to stand tall as a beacon of empowerment, amplifying the voices of LGBTQ individuals from minority ethnic backgrounds. As we honor this milestone, let us also recognize that the journey towards equality and acceptance is ongoing. UK Black Pride reminds us that the struggle is real, but so is the strength that comes from unity and love.”


Elvis Kachi is a Nigerian freelance journalist and a Fashion & Culture Editor who covers business, everything art, fashion, and Lifestyle.

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UK confirms measures to reverse number of gender-neutral toilets

Any changes affect England only. The Department has not said whether these measures will extend to Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland



Gender-neutral toilets signage UK (Photo credit: Twitter)

LONDON – The Home Office’s Department for Levelling Up announced Sunday that the UK government will implement measures to reverse the rise of gender-neutral toilets as part of wider efforts to protect single sex spaces.

Any changes will affect England only. The Department has made no suggestion whether these measures will extend to Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland in the future.

In its statement the government noted all new non-domestic public and private buildings will be required to provide separate single-sex toilets for women and men and/or a self-contained, private toilet as a minimum.

According to the Department’s statement, these changes come amid dignity and privacy concerns from women and elderly people who feel they are being unfairly disadvantaged as publicly accessible toilets are increasingly being converted into gender neutral facilities.

Concerns over the rise of neutral gender facilities has meant that public have been forced to share cubicle and hand-washing facilities, leading to increasing waiting in shared queues, decreased choice and a limitation on privacy and dignity for all, the statement read.

The government claims that these new regulations and guidance will mean women, who may need to use facilities more often because of pregnancy or sanitary needs, will now be guaranteed appropriate facilities either through a separate single-sex space or through a self-contained, private toilet.

PinkNewsUK reported that Pro-LGBTQ+ activists have previously signalled the importance of gender-neutral toilets, including conservative MP Caroline Nokes, who said in 2022 that the “inclusive” facilities are something she stands up for “enormously.

Following the policy’s announcement, Nokes told PinkNewsUK: “What matters most when it comes to toilets is design. I always point at Portcullis House in Parliament which has bathrooms on every floor, nobody refers to them as gender-neutral bathrooms – they are just bathrooms.

“If you have lavatory facilities that are each self-contained units, with their own wash basin and hand drier, and wall-to-ceiling walls and doors, and men remember to put the seat down, there really is nothing to complaint about,” she continued.

“What we all want is nice, clean, private loos, and in new builds in particular that ought not to be impossible.”

Kemi Badenoch, UK Minister for Women and Equalities, said:

“It is important that everybody has privacy and dignity when using public facilities. Yet the move towards ‘gender neutral’ toilets has removed this fundamental right for women and girls.

“These proposals will ensure every new building in England is required to provide separate male and female or unisex facilities, and publish guidance to explain the difference, protecting the dignity, privacy and safety of all.”

Minister Badenoch has faced much criticism from the LGBTQ+ community over her trans-hostile statements previously and her opposition to a conversion therapy ban that includes trans people.

PinkNewsUK also reported that in remarks leaked in 2021, but made in 2018, just a year after Badenoch became an MP, she reportedly described trans women as “men using women’s bathrooms” and asked: “We’ve got gay marriage and civil partnerships, so what are transsexuals looks for?”

The changes will be made through building regulations and guidance. The aim of the new requirements will ensure that:

  • Separate single-sex toilets facilities are provided for men and women; and/or
  • Self-contained, private toilets are provided where space allows to ensure privacy and safety;
  • Mixed sex shared facilities are not an option, except when lack of space allows only a single toilet

Changing the rules for single sex and/or universal toilets to be required would have positive equality outcomes for those who may not currently feel safe while using toilet facilities.

According to a recent YouGov opinion tracker, as of Wednesday (9 August), 47 per cent of women in the UK oppose gender-neutral toilets, while a separate 47 per cent of women support having gender-neutral toilets as well as separate toilets for men and women. The remaining six per cent support gender-neutral toilets only, or do not know.

People aged 18-24 are more strongly in favour of including gender-neutral toilets (51 per cent), while 34 per cent oppose them.

Additional reporting from PinkNewsUK

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Anti-trans perceptions grow in Britain new YouGov study finds

Over half of gay & lesbian people reported perceived positivity towards themselves (54%), compared to 31% bisexual people & 14% trans people



Pride in London 2023 (Photo courtesy of Pride in London)

LONDON – British international Internet-based market research and data analytics firm YouGov published a study Friday that showed that a growing number of Britons are expressing open hostility to the island nation’s transgender community.

YouGov surveyed a group of 1,023 LGBTQ+ Britons and 2,313 cis-straight adults between 30 May-17 June and 2-3 August, 2023.

Matthew Smith, the head of data journalism for YouGov noted that the new YouGov study, the third, and most expansive, in a series spanning back to 2018, shows evidence of an overall gradual erosion in support towards transgender rights. In some areas the shift is very pronounced.

A majority of Britons believe that people should be able to change the gender they socially identify as, with 55% saying “people should be able to identify as being of a different gender to the one they had recorded at birth”. Fewer than half as many (25%) take the opposing view, with 20% unsure.

However, when it comes to the matter of being allowed to legally change their gender status, the public is divided. Four in ten (40%) say the law should allow people to change their legal gender, while 37% say it should not. The remaining 23% are unsure.

Britain’s leading LGBTQ+ media outlet, PinkNewsUK, reported that the research found that 39 per cent of Brits “personally view” trans people in a positive light, with 33 per cent saying their feelings are neutral and four per cent saying they “don’t know.”

The remaining 25 per cent had negative feelings towards the community. This is up from 16 per cent in 2021, and follows YouGov research in 2022 which found that Britons had become less likely to support trans rights

Transgender rights are under attack in the United Kingdom. Five months ago British Prime Minster Rishi Sunak blocked the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill from being signed into law by King Charles III. Additionally Sunak has also made clear that he plans to re-write the Equality Act to bar trans women from single-sex spaces including changing rooms and sporting competitions.

This past June PinkNewsUK reported that it had obtained a recent video in which Sunak is clearly heard mocking trans females.

YouGov also noted the study’s respondents were given a brief explanation of what the current requirements are for someone to legally change their gender (exact wording can be seen in the chart below), including the fact that a doctor’s approval must be obtained for someone to legally transition, and that a trans person should have to live as their ‘new’ gender for two years before they can gain legal recognition.

In principle, Britons oppose making this process easier at a rate of almost two to one (50% vs 26%).

Opposition is higher still when it comes to the specific aspects highlighted. By 60% to 17%, Britons think the legal process should continue to require a doctor’s approval, and by a similar 59% to 15%, Britons say transgender people should continue to have to show they have lived in their new gender for two years before the change can be legally accepted.

PinkNewsUK pointed out that this shift in attitudes comes amid ever-increasing attacks on the community from politicians and the media.

Over half of gay and lesbian people reported perceived positivity towards themselves (54 per cent), compared to 31 per cent of bisexual people and 14 per cent of trans people (the report did not consider intersectional identities) PinkNewsUK also reported adding the broader British public had a more positive view than the LGBTQ+ community expected.

Additional reporting by PinkNewsUK

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British coffeehouse uses transman in mural, transphobes outraged

The reaction from British ‘gender criticals’ opposed to trans rights was to launch #BoycottCostaCoffee campaign on X, formerly called Twitter




BUCKINGHAMSHIRE, UK – A British coffeehouse chain is drawing heavy critique over its inclusion of an artistic caricature of a shirtless ‘trans man’ sipping on a coffee emblazoned on one of its company’s vans.

Costa Coffee, the second largest coffeehouse chain in the world and largest in the United Kingdom had a mural created that depicts a transgender male with double mastectomy scars pictured which a company spokesperson defended telling reporters it “showcases and celebrates inclusivity”.

The reaction from British ‘gender criticals’ and others opposed to transgender rights in the UK was to launch a furious #BoycottCostaCoffee campaign on X, the social-media platform formerly called Twitter.

Trans male YouTube creator and social media influencer Jamie Raines took to his ‘X’ account to applaud the company writing: “So @CostaCoffee depicted a trans masc person, and transphobes are angry and shouting #BoycottCostaCoffee (obvs). Shockingly to them trans people exist, and might drink coffee. Anyway, as a trans man with similar scars, thank you Costa for the representation.”

“At Costa Coffee we celebrate the diversity of our customers, team members and partners. We want everyone that interacts with us to experience the inclusive environment that we create, to encourage people to feel welcomed, free and unashamedly proud to be themselves. The mural, in its entirety, showcases and celebrates inclusivity,” a Costa Coffee spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

One prominent critic of the transgender community, James Esses, a British therapist who was expelled from his training institute over his ideological opposition regarding the care of trans-identified youth and his long held gender critical beliefs also took to ‘X’ castigating the coffee chain.

“Dear @CostaCoffee, Could you kindly explain why you are glorifying irreversible surgery performed on healthy breasts of women for a mental health condition?” Esses wrote.

In another tweet he attacked the artist of the mural:

British physician Dr. Helen Webberley however took the gender criticals to task noting:

“Know where I’ll be stopping for my morning cuppa tomorrow morning.

Everyone shouting #BoycottCostaCoffee because it “promotes the mutilation of teenage girls” have completely missed the point. Top surgery is a completely routine and normal procedure that helps reduce gender dysphoria in trans men – a debilitating mental health issue that sadly takes so many lives every year. Top surgery doesn’t harm people – it saves lives. Good on

@CostaCoffee for being on the right side of history.”

One Scottish local politician wryly noted that the positive aspect to the uproar over the mural was the revelation of exactly who the “transphobes” were. Nairn McDonald posted to his ‘X’ account:

“Watching idiots sharing #BoycottCostaCoffee because Costa put a Trans-Man in their art work is exposing so many transphobes. Bravo @CostaCoffee for being truly inclusive. To the Transphobes…I look forward to my Costa being quieter without you.”

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British Prime Minister issues apology to LGBTQ+ veterans

“Today, on behalf of the British state, I apologise and I hope all those affected will be able to feel proud parts of the veteran community”



UK LGBTQ+ Veterans group 'Fighting With Pride' gathered to march this past May at Birmingham Pride. (Photo Credit: Fighting With Pride/Facebook)

LONDON – Speaking to the House of Commons on Wednesday, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak apologized to the nation’s LGBTQ+ military veterans for what he termed [a] “period, many endured the most horrific sexual abuse and violence, homophobic bullying and harassment, all while bravely serving this country.” 

Speaking at the last Prime Minister’s Question Time before Parliament’s summer break, Sunak’s apology came after the report released this week, which had been previously leaked in May, confirmed that gay and lesbian British soldiers, airmen, and sailors were subjected to horrific electroshock treatment.

“Today, on behalf of the British state, I apologise and I hope all those affected will be able to feel proud parts of the veteran community that has done so much to keep our country safe.” 

Additionally, PinkNewsUK reported, gay and lesbian servicemembers were forced to endure so-called ‘conversion therapy’, sexual assault, unwarranted surveillance and blackmail from their superiors between 1967, when homosexuality was partially decriminalized, and 2000, when the ban on gay soldiers serving in the military was lifted.

The LGBT Veterans Independent Review was carried out by chair Lord Etherton, independent of both the government and the armed forces, and was reportedly submitted to the government in May for review and response, PinkNewsUK also noted.

The UK’s Fighting with Pride non-profit charity, which was set up by former Royal Navy officer, Craig Jones and ex-RAF navigator, Caroline Paige in 2020 to right the wrongs of the military service ban, including financial remedy from lost pensions and loss of earnings, reacted in a statement:

Craig Jones MBE, Executive Chair, and Caroline Paige, Chief Executive of Fighting With Pride, said: ‘This is a deeply emotional moment for both of us, a day we’d hoped for but sometimes wondered if it would actually happen. More importantly, this is the day thousands of veterans whose lives have been blighted by the cruel ban have been waiting for. It’s a watershed moment for LGBT+ veterans who’ve lost careers, homes, families and their sense of honour and justice.
‘The Prime Minister’s apology on behalf of the nation marks the culmination of a very long road travelled on behalf of people who’ve suffered unimaginable loss and shame. Sadly, for some, this day comes too late.  
‘We must now ensure the government moves quickly, so that words translate into action. We’ll be working with government to make sure every affected veteran gets the reparation and compensation they’re owed.

PinkNewsUK also reported that Cat Dixon, vice chair of Stonewall, the UK’s largest LGBTQ+ rights organization and an army veteran said the apology for the military ban is an “important step” to  “achieving justice” for those LGBTQ+ people who served in the armed Forces and “like me, experienced shame, humiliation and a ruined military career because of our sexuality.”

“Many were imprisoned, experienced corrective violence, and lived with the stain of a criminal convictions because of who they loved and which left some homeless and many unable to work,” Dixon added.

“Stonewall is proud to have played a key role in overturning the ban in the courts which was finally lifted in 2000, to have worked with HM Armed Forces over the years to support their journey to being LGBTQ+ inclusive employers, and in ensuring that LGBTQ+ veterans received today’s apology and where needed support.” 

“I would like to thank all who spoke out and contributed to the independent review, Lord Etherton and Fighting with Pride for their steadfast resolution to ensuring justice is done,” Dixon said.

Prime Minister’s apology for Armed Forces Gay Ban:


Read the independent report here: (Link)

Additional reporting from PinkNewsUK

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Out lesbian Scottish MP Mhairi Black says nope, won’t run again

“It is one of the most unhealthy workplaces-It’s a toxic environment- how it functions is the opposite of everything that I find comfortable”



Mhairi Black MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South, Scotland, UK (Photo Credit: Office of Mhairi Black/Facebook)

 PAISLEY, Scotland, UK – During an appearance on a political and current events podcast Tuesday, openly lesbian Scottish National Party MP Mhairi Black told the host that she is stepping down at the end of her current term saying that the deciding factors were the environment and politics of the House of Commons, Westminster itself in general- labeling it as “unhealthy” and “toxic.”

First elected as the youngest member of parliament in 2015 at age 20, the Paisley and Renfrewshire South MP speaking about her decision said:

 “Honestly, because I’m tired is a big part of it. And the thing that makes me tired is Westminster.

“It is one of the most unhealthy workplaces that you could ever be in. It’s a toxic environment. The entire design of the place and how it functions is the opposite of everything that I find comfortable,” she added.

Labeling the seat of the UK government a “poisonous place,” Black added: “Whether that’s because of what folk can get away with in it, or the number of personal motivations – and folk having ulterior motives for things – it’s just not a nice place to be in.” 

At age 28, she will be 30 in the next elections cycle which she pointed out means that she’s spent a decade as an elected politico, and she took aim at the politics of Westminster voicing her anger that her constituents continue to have no real voice in the UK’s government despite what she categorized as her “best efforts.”

Later she offered a more detailed explanation in her Twitter post:

PinkNewsUK journalist Chantelle Billson reported:

Black’s departure will be a loss for LGBTQ+ rights because she has used her platform to stand up for queer rights and publically shoot down misinformed toxic rhetoric.

She has previously said that it was understandable why members of the public who don’t identify as LGBTQ+ were confused by trans issues.

“I understand how the vast majority of people aren’t aware of trans issues, they aren’t aware of the complexities that people have to go through, which is exactly why I think the Scottish government have been right in going to the experts.”

Black also said that she had no sympathy for Rosie Duffield’s “misinformed” views on trans rights.

In 2019, Black spoke out about a “toxic” backlash against transgender rights and accused opponents of trans rights of spreading “misconceptions and outright lies”.

Additional reporting from PinkNewsUK

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