anti-transgender campaign bus Madrid

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Catholic group’s transphobic bus campaign is banned in Madrid

An ad touting, 'if you are born a man, you are a man,’ will not be rolling through the city.


Ana Valens


Posted on Mar 1, 2017   Updated on May 24, 2021, 10:07 pm CDT

A bus with an anti-transgender message has been stopped from driving around Madrid.

“Boys have penises, girls have vulvas. Do not be fooled,” the bus read on one side in Spanish. “If you are born a man, you are a man. If you are a woman, you will continue to be one,” it said on another.

The campaign was originally created by Hazte Oir, a Catholic organization planning to roll out the bus across Spain, BBC News reports. But after the bus was seen on Monday driving around Madrid, the city council quickly came to a decision to remove the advertisement.

While the campaign was officially banned due to Madrid laws on outdoor advertisements, various Spanish organizations and politicians have spoken out against the bus, saying it could incite hatred. Councilman for Security Javier Barbero referred to the bus as “the bus of shame.” The Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party’s Equality spokesperson, Angeles Alvarez, complained that the bus would be “a hate campaign based on intolerance.” And Madrid City Council socialist spokesperson Purificacion Causapie said the bus was “contrary to the dignity and rights of transsexual children.”

The strong response to the Madrid bus stems partly because Hazte Oir’s message seems to be protesting a transgender rights organization’s pro-trans children poster found across northern Spain. “There are girls with penises and boys with vulvas. It’s as simple as that,” the poster reads in Spanish. The campaign also shows four children—a cisgender boy, a cisgender girl, a transgender boy, and a transgender girl—walking naked together holding hands.

Hazte Oir, translated means “Make yourself heard,” claims that the bus is a response to “laws of sexual indoctrination,” citing freedom of speech as a defense of their claims. Regardless, Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau has already warned the bus to stay away from the city.

“In Barcelona, there is no place for LGBT-phobic buses,” Colau said over Twitter in Spanish. “We want our children to grow in freedom and without hatred.”

H/T BBC News

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*First Published: Mar 1, 2017, 1:38 pm CST