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Influencer Responds to UK Prime Minister’s Transphobia by Organising a Fundraiser

Finally, an influencer who uses their platform for something that matters.

Credit: TikTok / @max_balegde

The British Prime Minister gave a speech that sparked uproar online after he made a transphobic comment. People have been reacting to the speech, and some influencers are even coming together to organize a march in support of the trans community.

Rishi Sunak delivered his speech at the Conservative Party Conference at the beginning of October. Instead of focusing on issues such as the cost-of-living crisis and the struggling NHS, he felt that the most important statement to make was one of bigotry. I wish I could say I was surprised, but that is what we get for having a leader who got the job by default. Long live democracy!

Sunak’s controversial statement was:

‘We shouldn’t get bullied into believing that people can be any sex they want to be. They can’t. A man is a man and a woman is a woman. That’s just common sense.’

Rishi Sunak

More shocking than the statement itself was the cheering in support of Sunak’s transphobic words.

The Trans Community’s Response

Influencers and content creators from the trans community have since been reacting to Sunak’s speech.

@adrian.sweeney

THIS is what’s really going on behind what Rishi Subak has said and why this is SO transphobic and harmful. 🏳️‍⚧️ #lgbt #lgbtq #lgbtqplus #trans #transphobia #feminism #transrights #equality #transrightsarehumanrights #fyp

♬ original sound – Adrian

Adrian Sweeney offers his opinion on TikTok. He explains that Sunak wants to change the Equality Act and the definition of what sex means so that trans people are not recognized and can be discriminated against.

He believes that the comments were one last desperate attempt to sway swing voters by uniting them through hate. The conservatives have already lost support, so this comment was an attempt to distract people from the more important issues.

He is not alone in thinking this. Content creator Alexis Blake has 165.6 K followers on TikTok and used her platform to share her thoughts on the situation. Like Adrian, she points out that the government is failing the NHS, and this has nothing to do with trans people. She also goes on to give her experience of the cost-of-living crisis and how difficult it is for her wage to keep up with rising costs.

Alexis conveys her frustration and mentions how the trans community is being scapegoated:

‘I’m getting sick and tired of being made the scapegoat by politicians and governments, both in the UK and America.’

Alexis Blake

Max Balegde joining the conversation

Max Balegde has 3.5 million followers on TikTok and posted his reaction to Sunak’s words. He ended the video by asking his followers how he could use his platform to help. The video blew up, with 2.2 million views and 372.7K likes.

He then posted a follow-up video in which he tried to organize a march. The main aims for the march was to be legal and respectful. Max was met with many comments under his video praising him for using his platform and online presence for something good. However, he faced backlash from some trans creators.

Shivani Dave stitched his video, and they were not happy with what Max was trying to do.

@shivscamp

#stitch with @Max_Balegde it looks like you wanna do somethign genuinely positive. But to actually do something that will be positive and benefit the trans+ community you need yo be having trans people on board. We have been organising for years. Great that you now want to get involved, but this is not the way to do it #transuk #lgbtnews #uklgbt #uktransrights

♬ original sound – Shivani Dave
They bring up a few concerns, mainly that Max has never organized a march before and didn’t consider the safety concerns surrounding the police. Shivani points out that ‘it feels a little bit more like a march of one person trying to show that they’re the best ally possible’. They suggest instead that cis creators should amplify the organizations and work done by trans communities for trans communities.

Max has since taken the advice of the trans community and admitted to being naïve about some of the issues. After reaching out to trans charities, organizations, and activists, he decided to plan a fundraising event instead.

Details of the fundraiser

The fundraiser will be raising money for the charity Not A Phase. Not A Phase is a trans-led charity dedicated to awareness campaigning, social projects, and funding initiatives for the community.

The line-up for the fundraiser has been revealed. It includes drag queens, Bimini and Black Peppa, stage actor Robert Madge, and Kemah Bob. There will also be other influencers, trans activists, and TV personalities.  

The fundraiser will be on 8th November 2023, and tickets can be purchased through the link on Max’s TikTok and Instagram bio.

Written By

Hi there! I'm a recent English graduate from the University of York who enjoys joining conversations that are happening all over the world.

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