More than 1000 people gathered outside the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington this evening for a transgender rights rally.
The rally was in response to the controversial group Speak Up For Women holding a talk at the centre, which discussed their opposition to proposed amendments in a bill.
The amendments will enable people to self-identify their sex on their birth certificate without going to the Family Court.
Rally organiser Elle Kingsbury said they stood with one clear message.
"Anti transgender groups like Speak Up for Woman are trying to build support and connections.
"We are here to build our own social movement and group that counters that, and fights for transgender rights as human rights."
The rally consisted of chanting, music and an open microphone for anyone who wished to speak to the crowd.
"Trans rights are human rights," was a chant that could be heard hundreds of metres away.
The rally was predominantly peaceful, apart from two men who verbally abused protesters, and a woman who smacked an organiser in the face.
No one was injured and they were immediately escorted from the area by security.
Damo, the organiser who was hit by the woman, said the atmosphere was tense.
"A lot of us are very angry and scared of the kind of people that are inside at the talk, and that's because of incidents in our past or having family members that are of similar thinking.
"There's definitely always that fear of being so publicly exposed as transgender but being so close to people that don't want us to exist."
Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons attended the rally and said she couldn't believe the turnout.
"This has been amazing, there are just so many people that have come out and shown their support for trans rights and I am so proud of Wellington tonight.
"Wellington is a city where everyone can be themselves and where transgender rights are human rights, and that was the clear message from every person that attended tonight."
The Michael Fowler centre was lit in the colours of the transgender flag, a decision made by Mayor Andy Foster, Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons and Councillor Teri O'Neill.
"The conversation which is being had around the country has caused angst for the trans community in particular," Foster said.
"This is a vulnerable part of our community so we are trying to say to them that we're standing beside them and we support them."
However Foster let SUFW hold their event at the council-owned facility, as he said he defends the right to freedom of speech and makes no judgment on the group's messaging.
Lower Hutt's mayor Campbell Barry apologised earlier in the week after saying SUFW could hold one of their events in a council waste bin.
The High Court recently ruled one of the group's events should be allowed to go ahead at Palmerston North City Library, after the council cancelled the booking.
The judge said the group "cannot rationally be described as a hate group."
Dunedin and Christchurch city councils refused to allow the group to hold meetings in public facilities, but following the court decision a meeting at Auckland's Town Hall went ahead as planned.
Speak Up For Women spokeswoman Beth Johnson said they respected the right to protest peacefully.
Protesters remained until those attending the Speak Up For Women event were leaving, where they then repeatedly chanted, "trans rights are human rights."