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Hundreds turn out for London's first transgender equality march
Large crowds turned out for London's first Trans+ Liberation March over the weekend, with more than 1,500 reportedly joining the demonstration.
According to the BBC, organizer Lucia Blayke described the display as "absolutely incredible and overwhelming," adding that the massive turnout had not not expected.
"The sun's out and the sky's blue, if you look at everyone's faces it's just big smiles," Blayke said. "For trans people it's a lot different being out in public. Usually we're scared, we're having things shouted at us, we're humiliated and just really embarrassed."
"Social interactions aren't usually that relaxing so today is all about being together in public and keeping each other safe and uplifted," she continued.
The inaugural march ran from London's Hyde Park Corner to Soho Square and ended with a series of speeches.
London Trans+ Pride, which organized the march, describes itself as a grassroots event unaffiliated with Pride in London. It says it is focused on creating space for London's "trans, non-binary, intersex and gender nonconforming community to come together and celebrate our identities."
Organizers said the march was both a celebration of the community as well as a protest against a lack of rights.
Jamie Windust, a participant in the Trans+ Liberation March, told NBC News the event was "euphoric."
"We were all in unison and had such a collective strength," Windust said. "We were able to exist and not have the loneliness or isolation that we often do when we walk the streets alone."
The march comes after police data reported earlier this year showed hate crimes against the transgender community across the U.K. were up 81 percent.
Organizers said they hope more cities across the world follow in their footsteps and plan similar events.