A blog by Amber Dixon, Medical Physicist
Happy transgender visibility day! Today is officially to 'celebrate transgender people and raise awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide, as well as celebrate their contributions to society’. It’s also a good day to say “we exist” to non-transgender (cis) people and “you’re not alone” to trans people.
Both in the UK and worldwide trans people face many kinds of discrimination, such as harassment and employment inequality. Much has been written on this subject by Stonewall and other organisations but what I wanted to focus on today was shame. One of the hardest things about being trans is that you’ve usually grown up being given the idea that trans people are unusual and abnormal. The idea that trans people may be delusional is often debated in the media, and this can lead to a conflict between wanting to openly be what you feel is your true self and not wanting to be an ‘outcast’ from society. To me, this is why we call many of our events pride. It’s the idea that we shouldn’t be ashamed of who we are. This is also why representation really helps, having a trans character in fiction or a openly trans person functioning in society helps us all feel normal and helps others see us as normal too.
I wanted to keep this post brief, so people were hopefully more likely to finish it, so I’ll stop there!
If you are trans (or any other LGBTQ+!) or you want to support people who are then we’d love to hear from you at the LGBTQ+ ambassador forums, even if it’s just to say “I exist too!”. Otherwise the best thing you can do is try and make your workplace as trans friendly as possible; respect people’s pronouns (he/she/they etc.), take care with debates and if someone does transition be as supportive as you can!
Thanks for reading J