One of the young champions of the trans movement in the UK has urged students to vote to remain in the EU or face Boris Johnson as prime minister.
Charlie Craggs said if Britain voted to leave the European Union: ‘Marginalized people will feel it the most.’
Craggs came to prominence because of her Nail Transphobia campaign. She travels the UK with her pop up nail salon and strangers can come and get their nails done for free – all to promote trans rights in a ‘fabulous’ way.
Speaking about the EU referendum, she said: ‘If we leave, the ramifications on marginalized communities is going to be so great. Boris Johnson could be our prime minister. A man who has said things like “tank-top wearing bum boys” and said gay marriage might lead to men marrying their dogs.
‘People vote for him because they think he’s a lol and a laugh, but he’s so dangerous.
‘The EU has helped produce legislation to protect us but it also means we are involved in social dialogue in the EU. We are able to bring our voice to the table. The UK is quite good at LGBT rights so I think it’s important we remain in the EU so our voice remains prevalent in that conversation.’
‘Brexit would be bad for trans rights, gay rights, lesbian rights, bi rights, intersex, literally all of us.’
Craggs was speaking on the first of a new podcast series which will be produced monthly by Student Pride and supported by GSN.
In the podcast she also talked about transphobia – something one of the interviewers, Student Pride co-chair Hatti Smart witnessed for herself immediately afterwards when she travelled with Craggs on London Underground.
Smart told GSN: ‘One stop on the Tube was all it took to see the blatant transphobia that people like Charlie must experience on a day to day basis, going about their everyday lives.
‘I am so proud of Charlie for just being her completely wonderful, bubbly self while a group of grown men stared, sniggered and even laughed as she got off at her stop.
‘And what disgusted me more than anything is that no one called this out.’
GSN notes the remarks by Johnson that Craggs refers to were made in the period before he ran for Mayor of London, since when his public statements on LGBTI issues have been more supportive.
GSN approached representatives of Johnson and Vote Leave to give them right of reply.
Adam Lake, founder of LGBTI Brexit campaign Out & Proud, responded for Vote Leave.
He said: ‘When it comes to LGBT rights the EU makes all of the rights sounds but actions speak louder than words. The UK enjoys a level of equality way beyond what is seen across many member states in the EU, and it is important that we are honest about the reason for that.
‘The argument that we need to stay in the EU to support gay rights in countries that don’t currently have them is sadly a flawed one. This really is a case where we need to look at the progress made across the EU and our role in speeding up equality. The fact is we have very little say within the EU on a number of issues and equality is one of those issues.
‘Boris Johnson has supported LGBT rights in a number of ways, including voting against the then party line for the repeal of Section 28. More recently, as Mayor of London, he ensured that controversial advertisements for “gay cure” therapy were banned from public transport. We are proud to have Boris on our side.’
Listen to the Student Pride podcast here: