After cancellations and controversy, an event branded ‘transphobic’ by LGBTQ activists went ahead – but to a chorus of protesters.

The event ‘A Women’s Place is Turning the Tide’ was organised to invite debate about changes to the gender recognition act but has angered trans demonstrators who say that trans rights are not up for debate.

Attendees and those staying at the Jury's Inn Hotel were allowed to pass into the building, although entrances were lined with dozens of activists chanting, “trans women are real women” and chalk floor graffiti reading, “transphobes not welcome here”.

Changes to the gender recognition act would allow people to self identify their own gender without the need for a formal diagnosis of gender dysphoria.

Many who attended the WPUK meeting do not see transwomen as real women and see the change as an encroachment on "women only spaces" like changing rooms and all-female candidate shortlists.

Ellie Stamp, an organiser of the demonstration said: “The ideas that are held at this meeting suggest that trans women are not real women and perpetuates the idea that trans women in general are violent and should not be trusted.

“We’re here today, some of us are trans, some of us are not, but we’re standing against this meeting. “

The event was originally to be hosted at the Friends Meeting House but was cancelled under mounting pressure.

It was then decided the event would go ahead at the Jury’s Inn Hotel on Brighton seafront, but the plan to keep the new location a secret from activists failed and over a hundred protesters packed around both entrances to the building. 

Among those on the panel include Gill Smith, a woman began to transition to male but has since changed their mind and Dr Kathleen Stock, a professor at the University of Sussex.

One WPUK event organiser named Sarah told The Argus:

“We were invited to organise an event here and that’s what’s happening today.

“I can hear the chants but that’s not at all the right characterisation of our views.

“At the moment they’re not prepared to have a debate.

“You can’t alter laws just because someone shouts the loudest and stamps their feet the hardest.”