‘People are fighting for us’

The LGBTQIA+ community has been buoyed by the success of a recent protest, despite neo-Nazi’s also attending the rally.

The LGBTQIA+ flag is held up in support of the community. Photo: Piers van der Heide

On March 18, anti-transgender activist Posie Parker took her tour across Australia to the steps of Victoria’s Parliament House, and was greeted with a rivalling LGBTQIA+ protest, as well as a group of Neo-Nazi’s supporting Parker.  

Despite the concern of seeing Neo-Nazi’s protesting against them, the LGBTQIA+ community has drawn strength from the knowledge that there’s people fighting for them. 

A transgender citizen Angel Edyvane saw the events through reports and believes that the LGBTQIA+ protest is key for the safety of transgender youth. 

“I feel pretty supported to know that there’s people that will protest for mine and other trans people’s rights,” he said.  

Thousands of people picked up signs and joined the protests to fight for the rights of transgender citizens. 

Dimitris Tafidis, an ally to the LGBTQIA+ community, was at the forefront of the protests, fighting Parker’s campaign with many other transgender citizens. 

He said it was “inspiring to see that people actually fight for good things”.

The protests come from a movement to speak up about the way transgender youth have been treated for many years. 

A study by the Australian Institute of Family Studies found that 18 per cent of LGBTQIA+ young people aged 14 to 21 have experienced physical abuse as a result of their sexuality or gender identity. 

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and his government are drafting a legislation to prevent the Nazi salute from being shown within public spaces, like several European countries, but many argue this is not a big enough step towards safety. 

“It’s 2023, it’s something that should have been done a long time ago,” Edyvane said. 

Many countries have had the gesture banned since the end of World War II to prevent its hateful history and representation from spreading. 

It’s “not going to fix systematic problems,” Tafidis said. 

Tafidis said that the Safe Schools program worked well to address systematic problems, because it helped schools create an inclusive environment for LGBTQIA+ people. 

The state Labor government has maintained its position that transgender rights will always be supported in Victoria.  

“Our government will always support you,” Mr Andrews said on social media.  

“Your rights are not negotiable” 

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