Sadiq Khan says trans people shouldn’t be ‘simply tolerated’ but ‘respected and celebrated’

London mayor Sadiq Khan has come out swinging for trans rights amid Boris Johnson’s repeated potshots against them.

On Saturday afternoon (9 April), the Labour politician joined local council candidates in Higham Hill, a suburb in the northeast borough of Waltham Forest.

He joined the likes of Kira Lewis, who’s hoping to become Waltham Forest Council’s first trans, non-binary councillor, for a campaign even with grassroots campaign group Labour Doorstep.

“I have the privilege of representing the most diverse city in the world,” Khan said at Higham Hill Park, “and I know how heartbreaking it has been for many Londoners about how some politicians and many people in the media talk about the trans community.

“I’m quite clear that trans rights are human rights, and I’m also quite clear that here in London you’re free to be who you want to be.

“You’re not simply tolerated, you’re respected, you’re celebrated and you’re embraced. That’s going to be the case as long as I’m the mayor.”

So proud to be out today in Higham Hill, where I’m standing, with @SadiqKhan!

Sadiq is clear – trans people deserve happiness and safety across London.

I’m proud to be standing to be @wfcouncil’s first trans / non-binary councillor. Make sure you #VoteLabour on 5th May

— Kira Lewis (@kira_millana) April 9, 2022

Khan’s unwavering support comes against a troubling time to be trans in Britain today. Prime minister Johnson’s government has taken repeated aims at trans people’s already threadbare rights in recent weeks, coincidentally coming behind the government being rocked by scandal after scandal.

Following two dizzying U-turns, ministers walked back on a years-long campaign pledge to ban all forms of conversion therapy. While lawmakers will outlaw gay conversion therapy, trans people will not be covered.

Johnson then described trans rights as “novel” and something he has never really had to think about, before giving his unsolicited opinions on everything from trans women in sports and single-sex spaces. He also doubled down on his decision to bar trans people from the conversion therapy ban.

It came after health secretary Sajid Javid told Sky News that the government is “absolutely right” in banning conversion therapy “for LGB people”.

Javid, who again is the government’s top health official, said a “more sensitive approach” is needed to outlaw a practice compared to torture by human rights groups and medical groups.

“Is it a genuine case of gender identity dysphoria,” Javid said, “or could it be that that individual is suffering from some child sex abuse, for example, or could it be linked to bullying?”

So for many, including Labour’s LGBT+ wing, Sadiq Khan‘s wholehearted support for trans rights was a breath of fresh air.

Thank you @SadiqKhan!

— LGBT+ Labour (@LGBTLabour) April 9, 2022


— Louie Marlow (@louiemarlow) April 9, 2022

Fantastic to see the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan supporting the trans and non-binary communities.

Demonstrably showing a benefit of the Mayoral model in terms of the leadership it gives.

Wishing Kira all the best.#TransRightsAreHumanRights

— Kaz Self (she/her) #IStandWithUkraine (@SelfKaz) April 9, 2022

“Sadiq is clear,” Lewis wrote, “trans people deserve happiness and safety across London.”

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