Last week trans people, activists, groups and allies were working together to raise awareness of the plights that affect the trans community.
Reading the many negative newspaper articles and observing the imbalanced outputs from TV and radio over the week, it seems we all have a lot of work to do.
We have seen sensational, divisive and inaccurate paper selling headlines about forcing gender identity and treatments on children (false), the loss of gender identity for cis gender people (false) and even the simple matter of making dressing rooms in shops gender-neutral (a positive thing) has been turned into a war zone!
Sadly, what should have been a proactive week for trans-awareness has taken a very negative turn due to individuals in the media running their own transphobic agendas.
Our community is working so hard for basic rights, including a simple revision to the Gender Recognition Act which will allow us to self-declare our gender (including non-binary) without medical intervention (as in many countries). This simple legislation will immeasurably make a big difference too many trans people; it will put no one at risk and affect no one else.
I was truly hoping that last week, as a community, we could really help people appreciate the problems we face and gain some understanding as to why things like the Gender Recognition Act are important to us. This awareness opportunity was sabotaged due to the awful portrayals about the trans community in the media. We simply don’t have the voices and connections in the media to fight back those people who criticise us (who do).
So I hope you’ll respect and allow my community to mourn today, on Transgender Day of Remembrance, those trans people who have lost their lives due to violence (Just over 300 people in 2016, already surpassed by Aug 2017) and following this sad day, know that we will continue to fight for our rights with voices that will be eventually heard because the transphobic voices are costing my community their lives (including the incredibly high attempted suicide rates of 48% for under 26 years, 33% across all ages).