Police are on high alert in Sydney as a controversial anti-trans rights activist prepares to give a speech on Saturday.
UK activist Kellie-Jay Keen, who also goes by Posie Parker online, believes it is impossible to change your sex and campaigns to exclude trans women from women-only spaces.
Horse mounted and public order riot police are expected to be deployed, with the Pride in Sydney protest among the groups preparing to counter the demonstration in Victoria Park, Camperdown.
The right-wing activist, who has gained a following in the UK with transphobic campaigns under the guise of women’s rights, will tour Australia for ‘Let Women Speak’.
Speaking in 2GB with breakfast presenter Ben Fordham on Friday, Ms Keen described herself as a ‘transphobic’ but argued that it’s ‘not scary’ because she’s ‘very small’.
British activist Kellie-Jay Keen, who also goes by the name Posie Parker online, believes it is impossible to change your sex and campaigns to exclude trans women from women-only spaces.
Pride in Protest says they will protest their ‘vile bigotry’.
‘TERFs/SWERFs in an anti-queer culture war. This far-right politics must stop,’ the group said in a facebook postreferring to the acronym for ‘feminists’ who exclude trans women and sex workers from their activism.
Ms. Keen has been the subject of harsh criticism from many groups, including for allegedly posing with an activist who celebrated the death of Winnie Mandela and called out the anti-apartheid fighter ‘a whore’ and ‘white farmer murdering c***’.
She has also been criticized by a British MP for saying access to abortion and contraceptives must be reduced for children and adolescents.
Ms Keen also recently drew attention after criticizing British MP Jess Phillips for reading the name of a teenage trans murder victim, Brianna Ghey, in the House of Commons during an International Women’s Day speech.
Pride in Protest says they will protest their ‘vile bigotry’. ‘TERFs/SWERFs in an anti-queer culture war. This far-right politics must stop,” they said in a Facebook post. LGBTQI protesters are seen in Sydney
He has also spoken alongside various figures from far-right groups, including Christopher Barcenas, member of the Proud Boys, who was deposed by the United States government due to his presence at the Capitol riot on January 6.
The National Union of Students has also called for a series of counter-protests against Ms. Keen.
“We protest Keen’s speech events for two reasons: first, because these events call for the removal of trans rights and we strongly support transgender people,” a spokesperson said.
‘Secondly because these events are supported and assisted by the political right.
“Allowing the right to network and grow under the guise of supporting women poses a threat to all progressive causes and everything unions stand for.”
Before his trip to Australia, Stephen Bates, spokesman for the Greens on LGBTIQA+ issues, he wrote to Immigration Minister Andrew Giles asking him to revoke his visa.
Ms Keen was also criticized by a British MP for saying that access to abortion and contraception must be reduced for children and adolescents.
Mr Bates argued that Ms Keen had a long history of “promoting or excusing hate and violence towards trans and other marginalized communities”.
In her interview with 2GB, Ms Keen argued that people had “tried to write her off” and that she “doesn’t do anything to create controversy” but that she is “so influential that problems follow her”.
I’m not scary. I am also very small,” the British commentator told Fordham.
Asked by Fordham why people were afraid of her, Ms Keen said: ‘It is my ability to speak directly and tell the truth.
“I think that’s pretty scary for some people. We have lost the ability, both in the UK and in Australia and elsewhere, to speak clearly, just to tell the truth.’
Trans rights advocates have also protested Ms Keen’s demonstrations in the UK. In the image, a group in London’s Hyde Park.
‘In today’s money, because being transphobic means you say ‘a woman doesn’t have a penis’, and I’m probably transphobic.”
When asked if she is an anti-trans activist, she replied: “I am a women’s rights activist” and that she defines a woman as an “adult human female.”
“Because so many people are completely cowardly, social media has been able to manifest itself as a mass silencing tool,” Ms Keen added.
‘There is a strange social currency of acceptance. And I think endorsing that is really not caring about women at all.’
Asked what she would say to people who were born male and feel like they’re stuck in the wrong body and want to be a woman, Ms Keen said: “There are a lot of people who feel things that aren’t true.” . So we do not say that they are a different category of person.
She said she has “no objection” to people “doing whatever they want in life” but that it should “not affect her”.
Ms. Keen also spoke out against trans people being allowed to be in women’s prisons or participate in women’s sports. She is seen speaking at a rally in Wiltshire, UK.
Ms. Keen also spoke out against trans people being allowed to be in women’s prisons or participate in women’s sports.
She added that she also has a problem with calling trans people by names and pronouns that don’t align with what they were born with, because it “opens the door” to more trans rights.
Asked by Fordham why he uses the name ‘Posie’ instead of his birth name ‘Kelly’, he added: ‘If I wanted to be called John it would be difficult.
I am so influential. The problem just comes. I don’t do anything, I don’t really do anything to invite him,” she added.
“What’s happening in a country like this, the state is tricking women into pretending they can’t see the truth in front of their eyes and they can’t name it.”
Ms. Keen announced her tour of Australia and New Zealand earlier this month. She will visit Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne before heading to Hobart, Canberra, Auckland and Christchurch.
NSW Police have warned that the protests must be held legally.
‘NSW Police respect the right of individuals and groups to protest; however, those involved must do so peacefully and in compliance with the law,’ a spokesperson said.