Trans teens occupy ledge of NHS England in call for equal access to healthcare

On Tuesday young trans activists occupied the ledge of NHS England’s headquarters in their fourth day of protest calling for equal access to healthcare.

The protesters, from the ​​Trans Kids Deserve Better network, first scaled the building in Waterloo Road on Saturday, holding a banner which read “we are not pawns for your politics”. They have remained there since.

The activists are demanding access to gender-affirming healthcare for trans children and young people, protection from discrimination and disrespect in their daily lives, and the right to be heard in all decisions that affect them.

One of the activists – a 17-year-old who did not want to be named – said: “Decisions are being taken that affect our lives without any trans people in the room, let alone trans young people.

The activists stayed on the ledge throughout Saturday night (Picture: Trans Kids Deserve Better)

“Too often trans kids are portrayed as a monolith of confused, depressed teenagers. We are denied choice and robbed of our anonymity.

“But we should be trusted to make the same decisions about our health care that all other people are.”

The protest comes after NHS England halted prescriptions of puberty blockers for trans youth and just days before the British public head to the polls.

Human rights and civil liberties lawyer, Olivia Campbell Cavendish, from Chelsea, attended the protest as a legal representative for the protesters.

The 28-year-old founder of the Trans Legal Clinic said: “In the run up to this election, trans children have been used as a political-football.

“These children have been hounded by right wing media outlets and desperate failing politicians whose decaying political careers rely on demonising trans people to create division.”

The young protesters held a sign which read “we are not pawns for your politics” (Picture: Trans Kids Deserve Better)

The campaigners – all under the age of 18 – climbed the building using a ladder and attached paper signs to the windows of the building spelling out “Trans kids deserve better”. They were joined by members of the community, local councillors and activists. 

Ms Campbell said: “These are people’s children, siblings, nephews, nieces, friends.

“These are children with legitimate, urgent medical needs.

“Their message is clear –  trans kids deserve better. That means equal access to health care.”

NHS England has been approached for comment.

Pictured top: Activists occupy the ledge of the NHS headquarters in Waterloo Road (Picture: Trans Kids Deserve Better)

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