Munroe Bergdorf has spoken out against the government’s decision to exclude transgender people in their conversion ban.
The transgender activist and model took to social media to rally people to speak out after Prime Minister Boris Johnson defended the decision to only include lesbian, gay and bisexual people in the ban.
“We will have a ban on gay conversion therapy, which to me is utterly abhorrent,” Johnson said during a visit to a hospital in Welwyn Garden City, London.
He then added, however, that there were “complexities and sensitivities when you move from the area of sexuality to the question of gender”.
Johnson also noted that he does not believe that children should be able to make decisions about their gender without parental involvement.
“You cannot shame, shock, poison or traumatise someone into becoming straight or cisgender,” Bergdorf wrote on Instagram. “Everybody deserves to live a life where they feel proud of who they are, free to love who they love and safe to express how they feel.”
She added: “As a community, we need to fight NOW and we need our cisgender allies to fight with us, LOUDLY. Protect trans youth. Please email your local MP today via the quick & easy link in my bio. It takes literally 2 minutes but can make all the difference.”
Other pop culture figures have also spoken out against the ban as it stands.
“For the government to admit conversion therapy is cruel and harmful but NOT protect trans people from it has left me totally broken,” screenwriter Juno Dawson tweeted. “I don’t really know what to do anymore.”
Author Phillip Pullman also shared his thoughts on social media, noting that there was “no justification, no reason, no excuse” for the lack of a ban on trans conversion therapy, adding that it was “just to appease the transphobes. Evil”.
For the government to admit conversion therapy is cruel and harmful but NOT protect trans people from it has left me totally broken. I don’t really know what to do anymore.
— Juno Dawson (@junodawson) April 1, 2022
To ban conversion therapy, so-called, is good. To make a deliberate exception for trans people is pure, cold-eyed evil. No justification, no reason, no excuse: just to appease the transphobes. Evil.
— Philip Pullman (@PhilipPullman) April 5, 2022
In 2020 multiple high-profile figures including Bergdorf, Elton John, Dua Lipa, Sam Fender, and Charli XCX signed an open letter urging the government to ban conversion therapy.
“Let’s end it now,” the letter read. “Let’s finish what was pledged two years ago and ban ‘conversion therapy’ for all lesbian, gay, bi, trans, and gender diverse people, of all ages. Until you do, torture will continue to take place on British soil.”
Britain was set to host the Safe to Be Me conference in London in June to urge governments to tackle inequality and discrimination and enable people to live free from prejudice.
But now, plans to host the conference have been abandoned after the dispute over conversion therapy for transgender people prompted charities and organisations to boycott the event.