Celebrating Trans Day of Visibility without the constant vitriol aimed at the trans community for the first time in years is a strange experience.
It’s a breath of oxygen we needed. A moment where we’re not the target and we can live and be our authentic selves. It’s staggering to me that a global crisis, unprecedented in the modern world, had to be the catalyst for this cessation in hostilities.
Unfortunately, we can’t discuss the beauty and vitality of the trans community this year, without also touching on the pain and distress this crisis is causing trans communities. This is a difficult situation for everyone, we need to come together as a global community and show solidarity and love. Especially those of us in marginalised communities.
However, there are issues facing our community which are exacerbated by inaction and “debate” over recent years. Our healthcare systems are still complicated and put unnecessary hoops for trans people to jump through. Our system of legal gender recognition is overly bureaucratic and expensive.
Unfortunately, we can’t discuss the beauty and vitality of the trans community this year, without also touching on the pain and distress this crisis is causing trans communities.
In times of crises, these needlessly knotty systems can’t function and that leaves trans people to fend for themselves. The barriers we have to overcome, which for decades we’ve been told have been designed to protect us, now leave us in painful uncertainty.
Those of us who have spent years in the system trying to access the hormones and healthcare we desperately need may now face delays with an uncertain end. Indeed, as the NHS pivots to support those suffering with COVID-19, it’s unclear how, and for what period, these services will be impacted.
The NHS must move to look after COVID-19 patients. That’s not even a question. They are doing incredible work and I hope each and every one of us will remembers the personal risk taken by every NHS staff member at this time to keep us safe.
This Trans Day of Visibility I ask allies to my community to reach out. Reach out, make yourself available and show love.
My concern though is that due to overly complicated systems, created with little input from trans communities, our community is now experiencing huge levels of distress. Once this crisis has passed it’s time to simplify and humanise healthcare and legal processes so trans people can live to our full potential in British society.
This Trans Day of Visibility I ask allies to my community to reach out. While tweets of support and sharing of positive media is always appreciated, right now trans people, like many of us, are isolated. Trans people who have faced rejection from friends, family and neighbors are vulnerable. Trans people who rely on their local support group, who rely on that weekly, fortnightly or monthly face to face contact are vulnerable. Reach out, make yourself available and show love.
To trans communities, look after yourselves. If there’s anything the trans community is famous for it’s our ability to persevere. It’s sad that we’ve struggled, but I really feel our ability to overcome is something to take great pride in. We as a community have overcome, through kindness and understanding, for generations. This Trans Day of Visibility look after yourself. Practice self-care, and remember, now more than ever, it’s okay not to be okay.
We as a community have overcome, through kindness and understanding, for generations. This Trans Day of Visibility look after yourself.
My final word of advice to everyone this Trans Day of Visibility, while we’re all in isolation with brains full of worry and concern, read up on our history. I think we can all, trans and cis people, take some courage and comfort from reading the histories of the trans community at this time.
When I feel worried, I always take great strength from the people who built the foundations we work from today. I hope this Trans Day of Visibility you can too!