Queer joy took centerstage in Glasgow, Scotland this weekend when a group of LGBTQ+ and allied counterprotestors danced and sang at the top of their lungs to drown out an anti-trans rally taking place in the city’s major square.
The “Let Women Speak” rally was hosted by Posie Parker, a well-known British Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist (TERF), or an activist who uses the language of feminism to oppose transgender equality.
Hundreds of people showed up to the counterprotest, which was planned by the group Cabaret Against Hate Speech. To ensure no one could hear Parker’s rhetoric, the group blasted “YMCA,” Lada Gaga, Liza Minelli, “Time Warp,” and more, and also featured performances and speeches. One video shows the protesters doing a conga line and shouting “trans rights” to the tune of Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.”
Babe wake up, no one can hear Posie Parker over Glaswegians singing the YMCA. pic.twitter.com/kej5S3aKyk— Beth 🏳️⚧️🍉☂💜 (@pickle_bee) February 5, 2023
The counterprotest even reportedly included onsite medics and mental health professionals to take care of anyone physically or mentally harmed by hate speech coming from the TERF rally.
Beth Douglas, a co-convener of the Scottish Greens party’s LGBTQ+ wing, told PinkNews that Parker’s protest was filled with out-of-towners, whereas the joy-filled counterprotest was a local affair.
“These are local people from the local community,” she said. “And I’m very very proud of everyone who’s come along and sang so far, and danced. If I’m looking at both protests, I know which one has the better vibes.”
“We love,” added a 23-year-old protestor named Hann. “They will never feel the rich love we do. They will never see the world in as many colors as we do… Trans joy is authenticity and community. It’s small cells of people just getting by, loving one another, supporting one another, sharing resources, and lifting each other up.”
“We will never stop fighting.”
Parker, also known as Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, founded the group “Standing for Women” and travels around the world to decry trans rights. She works with far-right anti-LGBTQ+ groups like the Women’s Liberation Front and, according to Standing for Women’s website, has declared 2023 “the year of the TERF.” It also says a woman should be defined exclusively as an “adult human female” and that the push for trans rights is a “global assault on women.”
One of her group’s protests in January made headlines after a speaker named Lisa Morgan quoted Adolf Hitler.
“Do you know the big lie?” Morgan reportedly asked.” The big lie was first described by Adolf Hitler in Mein Kampf … The big lie is that trans women are women. But they’re not, are they? They’re men and we know that.”