Trans and non binary people matter.
So, yesterday I discovered a whole mess of transphobic shittiness and sadly it came from members of the sex blogging community. The community I love and sing the praises of. The community I praise for being so welcoming and accepting. It made my heart sink.
If you want to know more please check out this post by Mx Nillin. And if you don’t already, follow them and check out their other stuff too. They’re awesome. Nillin is being very brave standing up to this. And my heart goes out to them.
I immediately unfollowed all the people connected to the most vile piece of transphobic bullshittery and I was sad. They aren’t an attack on me but they are an attack on many people I love in my life and more than that, a whole community of amazing individuals who already face such hardships.
And an attack on my child who is trans. My child who is non binary. My child who gets such a satisfaction from having their pronouns respected. My child who I am wholeheartedly proud of. They have come so far in 18 years of life and I’m so proud to see them blossoming into the enby they always were but only recently embraced that they are.
You might be thinking right now ‘Oh, but how can one blog post make a difference to your kid?’ Maybe you’re thinking I’m over reacting. No. I’m not. I’ve comforted my offspring when people, even relatives have deadnamed them, misgendered them, when they’ve refused to even write their name on a card. When a teacher gave them a pink calculator when every other child had picked the colour calculator they wanted. When they’ve seen and received transphobic comments online, when they’ve been spat at because of who they are.
Every time my child goes outside they have to decide whether to protect themselves by presenting in a way that won’t get them ridiculed and deal with the crippling dysphoria that brings or to feel like themselves and risk being insulted, bullied and judged just for simply dressing how they want, for being who they are.
And my child and every trans and non binary person out there shouldn’t have to face this. Why do they? Because cis people make judgments. We dismiss the importance of pronouns. We make fun of gender identity. We do our best to erase their existence just because it makes us uncomfortable. Just because we need to learn some new things, just because it challenges what we’ve been taught.
I still do it. I’m trying really hard not too. But I make assumptions, and my child will pull me up on it. So that I use more inclusive language. That I don’t, even unthinkingly, erase a whole community of amazing people just because I always had. That has to stop. I’m working on it and I’m so grateful to my child for their help and support.
I’m grateful to all my trans and non binary friends. You are teaching me so much and I love you all dearly.
So I’m not blowing this out of proportion. And I won’t stand idly by whilst my family and friends are attacked and hurt. I hate confrontation. I don’t deal well with it, I’m a peace maker by nature. But part of making peace is challenging bad behaviour. Part of it is standing up for the marginalised. That’s what I’m doing.
Trans rights are human rights and I will stand up for them, always.
Trans and non binary friends who are reading this. I love you. I see you. I believe in you. You have my support. I’m going to try harder to be more involved, to challenge transphobia where I see it and to loudly and proudly declare my allyship.
You are amazing and valid and you matter.
I don’t ask you to do anything for me, I know you have enough on your plates already. If I can help you personally, in any way drop me a line, here, in email or via social media. I’m here for you.
And now, fellow cis people, if you’re wondering about some things you can do to support the amazing trans and non binary people in your life, here’s a few suggestions.
Find out about trans issues, look online, ask your friends but don’t assume the trans community will do the work for you. They’re exhausted and often fed up at being asked to spoon feed us cis people with answers. When you do ask, make sure you don’t assume they’re willing to do the work:
“Hey, I’ve got some questions about Trans issues, do you have the time and energy to help me with this?”
Everyones, including your own. We take it for granted that people will get our pronouns right. What a privilege! So respect your pronouns. Put it on your online profiles, in email taglines. When you’re introducing yourself add ‘my pronouns are…what are yours?’ and make it easy for everyone to have their pronouns used.
Don’t intentionally misgender/ deadname anyone.
We all make mistakes.That’s understandable but don’t misgender someone with intention.Use the pronouns people want used.
And don’t use deadnames. Deadnames are the names people have been given at birth but don’t fit their gender identity. If someone tells you they’ve changed their name, do your best to call them by that. I deadname my child occasionally by mistake still, but I apologise and correct myself if it ever happens. So don’t worry about mistakes. They happen. Just do your best.
Because otherwise you’re intentionally being mean. You’re calling someone a name that hurts them.
Stand up to transphobia
In whatever way you are comfortable doing it. Report transphobic posts on social media platforms, sign petitions for trans rights, correct people when they misgender or deadname someone in front of you.
The trans and non binary community is working hard simply to get basic human rights. Lets help them. Not hold them back.
I want basic human rights for my child and all the trans and non binary people out there. I’m going to do my bit to help achieve that for them.