As part of Stonewall’s 30th birthday celebrations, we’re sharing the stories of people affected by positive change to legislation.
We spoke to Suzanna, a member of our Trans Advisory Group about her experiences and perspective as a woman with a trans history. Suzanna shares her insights into building a strong movement for LGBT equality, and why progress for LGBT inclusion in healthcare should be something we all strive for.
What made you want to share your story?
I believe, as a woman with a trans history, that it’s necessary to ‘stand up and be counted’. Far too many trans people live in the shadows, afraid to assert their rights and afraid to live their lives to the full, often for very good practical reasons.
I therefore believe that it’s incumbent upon those of us who are confident in our identity, in our legal status as citizens and also have the means and support to do so, to be prepared to demonstrate by example and provide inspiration and support to others just as other trans women have provided me with similar confidence, inspiration and support.
Tell us about your own personal star moment.
In my experience the process of transition brings with it many ‘star’ moments as well as, it must be acknowledged, some very difficult ‘not-so-star’ moments, but I guess the most significant moment was when I came to understand that there was something called “gender dysphoria” – I finally acknowledged that what was troubling me was real and had to be addressed for the future health and wellbeing of me, my wife, my children and our family.
What are your hopes for the future?
I hope and I expect the changes set out in Stonewall’s A Vison for Change will both inspire trans people and help press for the change that I’ve no doubt will be delivered over the next few years.
In fact, many of these changes are already underway, particularly in relation to healthcare, as trans people and their allies from across society come together to pursue the full realisation of the equal rights for trans people in practice as well as in theory.
Tell us about your vision for LGBT equality
Change is coming slowly but it is very slow because there’s much to be done both in terms of securing attitudinal change and in providing the necessary support.
As the grandparent of three young children all of whom are under five, I expect, and will seek to ensure, that each one can fully express their sexual and gender identities as citizens with equal rights without hindrance and without fear of the consequences.
What would you say to someone who wants to support LGBT equality?
Understand it, acknowledge it, support it, in doing so know that you are right. Be an ally!
We have made incredible progress toward LGBT equality over the last 30 years, but the fight is far from over.
Read more about Stonewall and trans equality: