Protest Against the Government’s Backpedal on Conversion Therapy Ban

A new collective of community and student organisers in Oxford has formed in response to the government’s continual changing attitudes on a conversion therapy ban. This includes a recent decision to exclude protections for trans people in their legislation.

Activists in Oxford have come together to form Oxford Against Conversion Therapy and are planning a protest in Oxford on the 19th of April.

The protest will be in Bonn Square in Oxford City Centre at 6pm on Tuesday April 19th. The purpose of the protest is to urge the government to ban trans conversion therapy. The government’s exclusion of one of the most vulnerable groups within the LGBT+ community reveals their lack of commitment to protecting queer people in Britain.

The protest is supported by Oxford Pride, Oxford Student Union’s LGBT+ Campaign, local queer arts company T(ART) Productions, local LGBT+ pub The Jolly Farmers’, and the Oxford University LGBT+ Student Society. This protest will be unique for its collaboration between student and local groups.

The demonstration will include speakers from a range of local and national organisations and activists, including scholar and author Grace Lavery, Jayne Ozanne, founder of the Ozanne Foundation, and Chris Jarvis, Leader of the Green Group on the Oxford City Council. 

Alana Stewart from Oxford Pride, told us that:

Over the past four years, the Government have taken a backseat whilst countless more members of the queer community have been needlessly subject to these practices. We want to send a clear message to the Government that there is no satisfactory conversion therapy ban that doesn’t include trans people. That’s why we are protesting on the 19th, and we hope at the very least to come out in solidarity for anyone affected by this and to show Oxford that transphobia will not be tolerated.”

In relation to what everyone can do to support transgender people, Alana was keens to stress the importance of allyship:

“Amplify trans voices, and continue to listen. Help push for liberation, not just tolerance. The government’s decision is in line with a recent history of transphobia; such as their failure to reform the GRA and their failure to legally recognise non-binary people. Their decision to exclude trans people from the ban is not a shock to any of us who have seen the crumbling of trans rights in this country. So, we need to keep showing up.” 

The protest will take place at 6pm today, on the 19th of April, at Bonn Square.

Featured image description: A crowd of protesters, with one of them holding up a placard saying ‘protect trans youth’.

Featured image credit: Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona via Unsplash