Trans Day of Visibility 2020

2020-04-01

For context, and why this isn't as well written, I wrote this at 9pm straight onto my Facebook wall. I am so so sorry for the weirder writing style than I try to keep to here.

(CW: trans NHS mentions, bigotry)

I know I've left this late, but, feel like I should write something for TDoV (for those not aware, Trans Day of Visibility). I started with maybe going for something, happy, or, celebrating trans people & charities who do amazing things but, personally, all I have is just disappointment with a side serving of anger.

A little bit of context here: my very first TDoV I spent while on some kind of waiting list for GIDS (the gender identity clinic for the under 18s). This year is also the first year I'm “celebrating” (? idk if that is the right word, but, let's go with it) TDoV on hormones.

Up until now, TDoV has always had something to it which hurts, whether it being on the (looking back, not that long) 5-ish month waiting list, or battling GIDS to actually give me access to medication, to having to wait in limbo on blockers. I want to say, this year is different, and that this is the first year I can truly just be happy about my transness, and say “I managed it!", however doing that feels off? Like, idk, yeah, I made it, but I got extraordinarily lucky with that, with my parents being absolutely amazing, being one of the lucky few who even got blockers with GIDS, fighting GIDS to not discharge me while on blockers, and thankfully got access to hormones before the current virus situation kicked off.

I know people who have been fucked over by all of those. I know people right now who came out at the same time I did, but, had to wait until now with the much longer waiting list because of unsupportive family. I know people with supportive families but who “weren't trans enough” for so-called medical professionals. I know people who were screwed over for letting not masking their neurodiverseness in their GIDS appointment and got discharged. I know right now people who thought they would be getting hormones before they turned 20 in May being screwed over by pure incompetence, pushing him back 2 months into March, now facing even more awful months without that essential medication due to the current situation in the world.

We (read: I) often say our transness isn't a debate, but, some people have, and continue to force it to be one. That's the politicians who try to demonize transfemme people as predators, portray trans men as being simply confused, and non-binary people as being attention seekers, but also the “professionals” at GIDS+ GICs who deny autistic trans people access to hormones. That's the people who shout and scream at you in the street, but also the cis person who tries to question your community's own terminology as if they know better. That's the people who say they support the transes, but not those silly non-binary people, and, to the trans people who then reassure those bigots just to cash in on their anger.

I don't have a closing that's nice and well written (it's me, so of course I'll make some pretentious ramble on Facebook at 9pm at night while I have more important things to be doing) but, I can sure make some bullet points for people to take note of.

Cis people:

  • Listen to the trans and non-binary people you know!
  • Do the above, but Actually Do It This Time
  • Once you've listened, campaign for trans and non-binary people in the ways they want. Be an ally not by trying to lead the charge, but, by understanding what is needed and how you can be useful
  • Pay attention, and, learn the dog whistles, so you don't accidentally succumb to transphobia - there are so many dog whistles transphobes are using at the moment that may sound reasonable to you, but, are a way to sneak in transphobia - the current big one is “protecting women/girls” (you may see this in stories about detransitioners that get heavily pushed in the news, or, through campaign groups using this as an argument to stop trans people from using services for the gender they are) and “experimental chemicals being used on children” (this is to prevent things like blockers being prescribed to under 18s, even though the blockers themselves are well tested).

Trans and non-binary people:

  • Continue to be amazing, and if it's safe for you to do so, continue frustrating the bigots by just existing
  • You can get there, I swear, even if times are rough right now (like yes, I know I did go on a rant but, if this gal who's life is primarily concerned with trying to catch a shark in animal crossing can do it, so can you)
  • Look after yourselves right now - it's been rough for us for a while, so even if it's just for an hour or so, get away from the absolute shitstorm (for me, I've made a new Twitter just to follow cats on - highly recommend for when you just need to jump out of the world for a few seconds)

On a happier note, all of you, stay safe and remember you're amazing. It's rough out there at the moment, but, we can get through this, together.

vallerie

[she/they]

I Wanted to Do Photography