A day after British anti-trans activist Kellie-Jay Keen made a hasty exit from the country, thousands of people turned up in support of the trans community, at rallies in Christchurch and Wellington on Sunday, March 26.
People danced, demonstrated, and spread trans joy in protest of planned, but cancelled, speaking events by Keen, also known by her online handle Posie Parker.
Thousands, holding placards and flags, gathered at the Bridge of Remembrance in Christchurch and Civic Square in Wellington.
Queer rights activist Shaneel Lal tweeted, “TERF Posie Parker left New Zealand and cancelled her Wellington event but thousands of people have gathered in Wellington to support and celebrate trans people. New Zealand – you make me so incredibly proud. No tolerance for hatred. No tolerance for transphobia. What a country!”
TERF Posie Parker left New Zealand and cancelled her Wellington event but thousands of people have gathered in Wellington to support and celebrate trans people. New Zealand – you make me so incredibly proud. No tolerance for hatred. No tolerance for transphobia. What a country! pic.twitter.com/3lKcu6i0S1
— Shaneel Lal 🧚🏻 (They/Them) (@shaneellall) March 26, 2023
In an article from New Zealand news site Stuff, participant Keegan Burrow said, “It shows that in New Zealand, when there is something important that people want to stand up for, they will turn out.”
Krutika Sanat Mishra, another person in attendance, shared, “I’m a part of the queer community as well, and I’ve got to stand up for my people. If no one else will, I f…ing will. It’s been a thrill, it’s a rush. It’s been heart-touching and it gives me goosebumps.”
Tabby Besley, a participant from LGBTQI charity InsideOUT said, “It’s been a beautiful show of love and support for our trans communities, with such a clear message of spreading love and not hate. It’s been amazing to see the support that’s come out in support of trans rights.”
Talking about the turnout, organiser Nick Winchester said, “To have this many people turning up to show love in the face of hate is awesome.”
Keen was granted a visitor visa to New Zealand earlier in the week for her, Let Women Speak tour. She fled the country soon after her arrival after her stop in Auckland, Saturday, and was met with fierce resistance. Keen was doused with tomato sauce and pelted with an egg at her Auckland rally on Saturday.
Met With Protest In Australia
Prior to arriving in New Zealand, Parker spoke in Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, and Hobart.
In Melbourne, LGBTQI community, allies, and student activists, who were part of the counter-protest, clashed with far-right and anti-trans activists. Neo-Nazis chanted “white power” and performed the Nazi salute at the Melbourne rally on March 18, 2023.
On March 11, Parker kicked off her tour in Sydney was met with protests from LGBTQI activists at Victoria Park.
On March 12, in Brisbane, Parker’s supporters were outnumbered by trans activists and anti-fascists, according to the National Union of Students Queer/LGBTI.