Ncuti Gatwa Calls Out Politicians Attacking Trans People

Ncuti Gatwa Calls Out Politicians Attacking Trans People
Image: Source: Melanie Lehrmann for Attitude

Doctor Who and Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa called out the U.K. for the racism and transphobia in government, saying politicians openly attack marginalised communities for their own goals. 

In a cover interview for UK-based LGBTQ+ magazine Attitude, Gatwa spoke fiercely about the way the Tory government uses immigrants and the LGBTQ+ community as political targets in ongoing cultural wars. 

“Everything trickles down from the top,” Gatwa said. “And when you see politicians openly attacking marginalised communities, when you see our politicians openly attacking trans people, it makes it OK for everyone else.” 

He continued: “People who are the most vulnerable, the most disenfranchised, most disconnected from everyone else, are being told that they are the threats. It’s sick because it’s a hiding-away of your own ineptitude.

“You’re going to put the blame on immigrants, Black and brown people, trans people, queer people, to hide the fact that you are not doing anything for people? It’s easier to just create discord amongst people. It’s divide and conquer, isn’t it?”

Gatwa’s timely remarks come amidst a fresh wave of anti-trans and anti-immigrant sentiment in recent years, with ministers being criticised for stoking xenophobia and PM Rishi Sunak openly flaunting anti-trans rhetoric.

The U.K. has increasingly become a hotspot of anti-trans rhetoric, with prominent figures like J.K. Rowling and Posie Parker rising to prominence. 

Ell Folan reported for Novara Media in 2023 that anti-trans hate had skyrocketed in the country by 156%, and the recent halting of puberty blockers amidst the release of the Cass Review has caused much anxiety in the U.K. trans community. 

Ncuti Gatwa on being the new Doctor Who, the queer experience and more

Elsewhere in his interview, Gatwa touched on how he related to taking on the iconic main role in Doctor Who. He described the Doctor as a person who is constantly fighting for everyone due to the character being driven by mercy and compassion.

Gatwa spoke frankly about his challenges and experiences as a Black, queer, British-Scottish immigrant. 

“It’s funny, when I’m chatting with other queer Black men about what it’s like going into the barbershop – you still lower your voice and put a spring in your step[…] although not so much anymore,” he said. 

“I feel like I’ve kind of reached a place in my personal journey where I just am who I am, and that doesn’t have to change wherever I go. I just have to exist. 

“And it’s a privilege to do so in my position because there are many people that are in my intersections that don’t get a chance to just exist… [and] I’m aware that my experience is not the typical Black queer experience. 

“Just because I’ve now been cast as Doctor Who, all problems of inequality are now fixed? Things don’t work like that… but I’m now just learning not to care what other people think.”

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