Hundreds gathered in Oxford to protest the government’s failure to ban trans conversion therapy.
On the 19th April, Oxford saw hundreds of protestors turn up in Bonn Square to voice their anger at Boris Johnson’s government leaving the trans community out of plans to ban conversion therapy.
The protest was organised by the recently formed Oxford Against Conversion Therapy, and was supported by Oxford Pride, the Oxford University Labour Society, Oxford LGBTQ Society, Oxford Green Party and many others.
Holding up handmade signs and draped in pride flags, the crowd chanted slogans in support of trans rights, and against the Tory government’s continued betrayal of the LGBTQ community, with speakers citing the long-lasting damage of Margaret Thatcher’s infamous Section 28.
— Beki Osborne (@bekiosborne) April 19, 2022
Section 28 was legislation that began in 1988, and prohibited the ‘promotion of homosexuality’ by local authorities. In schools, Section 28 prevented the discussion or acknowledgement of LGBTQ issues in classrooms, curriculums or textbooks.
LGBTQ students did not receive any sex education, information about issues that affected them, or support for homophobic bullying, as teachers were unable to step in because of this law.
Co-Chair Elect of the Oxford University Labour Club, Bella Simpson (she/her) pointed out the parallels between the treatment of gay individuals then, and of trans individuals now by Conservative governments.
Despite Boris Johnson acknowledging the harm of these “abhorrent practices” and promising to ban conversion therapy, his government has flipped back and forth on the issue, causing three advisors to quit the advisory panel.
The current plans exclude a ban of trans conversion therapy, despite a 2017 government survey showing that transgender individuals were twice as likely to be offered CT as other members of the community.