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Trans activists protest outside Metro newspaper and allegedly throw smoke bombs

Trans activists protest outside Metro newspaper and allegedly throw smoke bombs

Protesters outside the Metro headquarters

Transgender activists and allies picketed outside the Metro’s London headquarters, Northcliffe House, in protest today (19 October). They also allegedly threw smoke bombs in the building.

Recently, the newspaper published a transphobic ad as part of the UK’s ongoing discussion about the Gender Recognition Act.

Per the Guardian’s media editor Jim Waterson, the protesters gathered due to this ad.

Tweets about Metro protest
Waterson’s tweets about the protests | Photo: Twitter @jimwaterson

As Waterson added, smoke bombs were also allegedly thrown during the protests and filled the entrance of Northcliffe House. Staff from the building left through a side entrance.

Others posted videos and photos of protesters outside the building.

How did it come to this?

There is a current, ongoing debate about the Gender Recognition Act (GRA), which was first introduced in 2004. It legally recognized transgender people in the UK for the first time, and allowed them to change their birth certificate.

Many LGBTI organizations, however, now view the Act as generally outdated 14 years later, and inaccessible and difficult for most trans people.

In order to potentially change and streamline the GRA, the government opened up a public consultation in July. It was meant to officially end today, but has been extended to Monday (22 October) due to high demands.

The conversation has become widespread and, according to some, ‘toxic’. Media companies like the Metro, as well as the Guardian, have shared ads and opinions about the debate.

The Metro also published a full-page ad from organizations supporting the trans community, but there is a question about companies like the Metro profiting from this debate.

Anyone can fill out the consultation.

This guide, by LGBT rights charity Stonewall, takes you through the consultation question by question. It has help and advice on how best to support trans people in your answers.

GSN reached out to the Metro for additional comments.

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