This year, on March 31st, the Day of Visibility will aim to reinforce the continued push for Trans rights. And equality in those many spheres where discrimination and prejudice is still rife.
The Day is also a day for reflection on some of the setbacks. Negativity and tragedies which still seem to dog the Trans community. Despite worldwide growing support for the Transgender cause.
Trans people come from all walks of life….. but we still face the same problems
To the surprise of some, Transgender people can be found everywhere. In every strata of society; from every racial and ethnic background; in every country. They may be professors or delivery people; airline pilots or construction workers. And mothers and fathers, or sons and daughters.
You may never know that your co-worker for the last 10 years is Trans. Until he or she decides to come out. You may not know that your trusted neighbor is part of the T community. Nor that the person you chat to happily in the supermarket every week is Transgender. And is planning to transition to his or her preferred gender.
What is also surprising is that many people are not aware that Trans people have always been around. You only have to go back to ancient Greek or Roman times. Or read about the history of Native peoples in some countries. Countries such as North America or Australia to find out that being different. But also being Transgender is nothing new. With modern communication and instant-this and instant-that. It’s that more and more visibility (one of the aims of the Trans Day of Visibility!) is given to minorities under the LGBTQ banner.
Trans community is diverse in age, race and presentation
So, whilst the Transgender community is diverse in age, race and presentation. Unfortunately, the only real consistency is that many of the problems Trans people endure are the same the world over.
For some reason, many such problems which plague the Trans community appear to originate from misunderstandings. Or hearsay, disinformation (or, should I say, fake-news?). Or downright dogmatic resistance to change. Many of the issues we have exaggerated by politicians, religious leaders. And, to a large extent, the hostile parts of the media. Which condones the often incorrect and outrageous things these type of people say.
As a result, I’m sorry to say there are so many issues we T-people still need to address. But, if I had to put a short list together, these are about my top 3:
The military ban on Trans people in the US:
- Disinformation: the attempted ban in the US by the current head of the administration to stop T-people serving in the military. Just on the basis that Trans people are not fit to serve. Still that many of the generals, admirals or squadron leaders who lead the various sectors of the military do not support such ban;
- Reality: Transgender people have served in the military for years. Both currently and in the past without major incident. And the costs associated with the necessary health care are minute compared to the costs of treating day to day illnesses suffered by other members of the military. Military leaders reaffirmed that Transgender personnel now serving meet the same performance standards as other enlisted personnel. This was as recently as a few weeks ago in the US;
Transgender people need to choose the bathroom carefully:
A second big issue facing Trans in the US particularly is the so-called “bathroom wars”
- Disinformation: Trans people (especially male to female Trans) will attack or molest anyone who is in a public bathroom with them;
- Reality: all genuine Transgender people want to do is live their lives simply and comfortably. Away from any controversy, ensuring that their human rights are not being violated. And they can go through life on an equal footing with other member so society. When did you hear of any Trans person violating anyone in a bathroom?
And, finally. How can we let the annual Trans Day of Visibility pass without mention of the continued murders and assault inflicted upon us because….. well, because of what? Because we are here and dare to be different?
Murders and assaults on Transgender persons:
- Disinformation: Transgender people who are assaulted or murdered bring it upon themselves. By the way they talk or walk or dress. As they upset the moral judgement of other people in some way;
- Reality: as far as can be determined, in the last 12 months some 200 Trans people have been murdered worldwide (numbers of attacks and assaults uncountable!). What always surprises me when I see such figures. Is that a very, very high percentage of these murders occur on the north and south American continents.
I have to ask: what is it about the behavior of citizens in so-called first world countries. That they feel the need to murder people from minorities?
So, when you hear about the International Trans Day of Visibility. Take some time to ask why we need to have such a day (as well as a Trans Day of Remembrance).
In some ways, it is a sad indictment on the lack of progress made by all humans in respect of tolerance and love for other men and women…. still, it can only get better (we hope)!