Trans Representation: The Community

I think a lot about representation of trans identities whether it is in the media, in our own community, or even society. I want to talk about the different sides of this sentence over the next few weeks. I thought the best place to start would be within our own community. I have done a lot of work within the LGBTI community and so I thought I would share my thoughts. These thoughts and impressions are in general, not specific to certain people or organisations.

It always annoys me when LGBTI organisations say they are trans friendly and that they support the trans community when they make as little effort as possible to go about that. They will have minimal trans people as a part of their staff or governing board and when something comes up where the organisation has to speak on trans issues, they will often still ask a cis person to do it. They seem to think it is ok that because they have spoken to trans people they somehow know what it’s like to be trans.

When a trans person has something to say about how something is run and how it isn’t the most inclusive don’t make them feel bad about speaking out. Instead sit down and talk about ways the organisation could do things differently to be more inclusive, work out what the issues are, and make sure that everyone in the organisation is aware that there are issues that they all need to work on. If a trans person says something isn’t inclusive, don’t make it sound like it’s a huge inconvenience to change it. Come up with an action plan and just change it.

Cis people don’t have the right to tell trans people that it’s too much effort to change things or that cis people can speak on behalf of trans people, no matter what the situation is. Trans people are more often than not treated like second class citizens, and an inconvenience to society. When in fact all trans people want is respect and validation that they are a part of this community and that they can be whoever they want. They are never going to get these opportunities if cis people keep speaking up for them.

I’m considered an aggressive person more often than not, particularly because I just stopped sitting quietly and started speaking out. If I see a space where trans youth aren’t being acknowledged I will show up and I will say, “Hey I’m here and I am not leaving quietly.” I might be considered overdramatic, and I might seem like a diva but I just refuse to be ignored and brushed aside. I have 9 years worth of experience, so if I see a problem or an issue I will say something, and I will keep saying something till it is fixed.

#TransWomenInPower  #TransMenInTheKitchen

One day this table will be filled with cis people, and I'll be in charge.
One day this table will be filled with cis people, and I’ll be in charge.

Transgender day of visibility.

Today is Transgender day of visibility, which is nice thank you for that. I have a few issues with it though, which if you know me well enough you will know I always have issues. People will celebrate this day and act super supportive but in reality they aren’t actually doing anything to support the trans community, waving a flag once doesn’t make you supportive, it shows you accept the trans community.

We also need to remember the young people who don’t want to be visible? The young trans people who are struggling to find support in their homes, schools and even communities? There are trans kids who don’t feel safe anywhere, yet there is an expectation that they are going to stand out and proud for transgender day of visibility. Does this honestly sound like a good idea?

I don’t really know what you could do instead, because there is so much that should and could be done. Ask within your local community to see what they need at the time. Or if you have the opportunities to create positive visibility then go for it. But all I ask is remember that the trans community will still need help and visibility after transgender day of visibility.

Today I plan on buying some nice food and just spending a little bit of time to myself. I am super busy at the moment but I think the fact I have survived 8 and a half years is a pretty decent achievement, and one I should celebrate.

 

Have a delightful day friends, Kia Kaha (Stay Strong) xox

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