According to Paul Brand at ITV, Liz Truss’ Government Equalities Office have pulled the plug on the event after over 100 LGBTQIA+ organisations and numerous sponsors backed out.
The need for queer solidarity really hit hard after the Government first announced it would not be banning conversion therapy at all. Then u-turned on that after backlash and subsequently announced it would ban it, but only for gay people. Meaning they would still allow people to attempt to torture the gender identity out of trans people.
Over 100 organisations from across the country and some even from outside the UK have spoken up against the UK Government’s plans. There is now a community wide boycott of the Safe To Be Me conference in place, with many going as far as to describe participation in the event as ‘pinkwashing’.
Organsiations such as Pink News, Trans Safety Network and Gendered Intelligence have been calling on a boycott of the Safe To Be Me Event since before the recent news. Citing the Governments dithering over reform of the Gender Recognition Act and how they allowed debate to become so derailed.
Simple reforms to the legislation appear to have been shelved after being promised by Theresa May’s Government at the Pink News awards in 2017. The Government been pursuing gender recognition act reform and have pledged to make the process of gender recognition easier and more accessible but have left out the principle of “self-declaration”. Despite almost unanimous support amongst transgender campaigners.
Protests for the event under tags such as #UnsafeToBeMe and #NotSafeToBeMe were being organised and are still ongoing. There have also been calls from within the community for the LGBTQIA+ community to organise our own conference spanning the same days in which to call upon the Government to deliver the changes it promised and protect queer lives. Though with less 90 days before the event was due to begin, timing is tight.