This week’s photo are self portraits of someone selflessly being themselves, me. It’s a self portrait series I’m slowly working on looking at myself and identity.
I’ve been to a few trans events over the years as an ally but 2022’s ‘Trans Day of Visibility’ (TDoV) is my first as a non-binary person. Is non-binary trans I hear you ask? (Oh I’m also autistic and as you know autistic people have super powers one of which is hearing people’s thoughts as they read my newsletter.) Stonewall describes transgender as;
Trans is an umbrella term to describe people whose gender is not the same as, or does not sit comfortably with, the sex they were assigned at birth.
Non-binary fits into this as our gender identity isn’t 100% aligned with what we were assigned at birth. This means TDoV is inclusive of anyone who fits under the trans umbrella. 2022’s is my first official one as non-binary me and all week I’ve been asking myself, “So what does it mean to me?”
The idea behind TDoV is a day to celebrate and amplify trans voices. We should be doing so every day, if possible, but really go for it on 31st March. If you like Star Trek find a trans writer, YouTube, podcaster and share their work. If you like fashion maybe look into trans fashion. Whatever you’re into try and find a trans voice and see what they think, and share it. It is hugely important to raise voices, to make trans people feel pride in their work and that they are valued. It is important because it’s so easy to sit at home doom scrolling social media seeing post after post about how another trans person was attacked or whose life was not valued simply because they were trying to be themselves. It shouldn’t be this way. We’re all just bags of mostly water standing around on a rock hurtling through space with no way off. Be excellent to each other.
That’s TDoV. A day to amplify trans voices. But what does it mean to me on my first TDoV? I can’t help but think about the V and the visibility. For some non-binary people they wear their “normal” clothes that they’ve had for years. How you present isn’t tied to your gender. You can be an assigned male at birth non-binary person wearing mens clothes or women clothes. You wear what you want. For me that means I like to wear skirts, tights, bold colours and makeup. I have a purple beard and green lipstick on right now with green eye shadow and blue eyeliner. If I go outside I get noticed. Just this morning Old Man McStares Alot did his usual head turning “What are you?” stare as he walked past me. I get noticed.
Am I ok with being visibly non-binary? So far but as someone with an anxiety disorder my brain is often fearing the worst will happen and as the days get longer and the weather gets nicer my little sleepy seaside suburb becomes busy with people. More people means more eyes and more chances for trouble. I filmed some thoughts over the past week and it just so happens that my fears weren’t unfounded.
I had a day of being visible to an audience of random people and it brought with it amazing moments and moments of fear. I received comments from kids about how amazing I looked. That fills me with hope for the future. The next generation of humanity is accepting of who I am. Awesome. However, the current generation sees me as a joke for their amusement. My existence, my happiness and freedom from a depressed brain wanting to kill itself is not a toy for them to play with. Teenage boys and full grown men don’t have the kindness of a 5 year old girl. That’s the real joke here.
Visibility to me means showing the world I’m not afraid to accept myself and to be cool with my interests. How many of those who laugh at me would run a marathon, climb a mountain in the dark, swim naked in a Welsh lake in October or have the confidence to wear what makes them feel good even if it means, god forbid, going against what is trendy or fashionable like cosplaying as a footballer or 50 shades of grey tracksuits. The kids who filmed me didn’t even have the “balls” to be “real men” and hold the camera up properly. They tried to be stealthy about it. Poor cisgendered men who lack the confidence to be visible.
- Trans autistic people are not “confused” – we know who we are
- Alexandra Kacha’s images challenge heteronormativity through a non-binary gaze – Archer Magazine
- Laura Kate Dale on Twitter: “This Trans Day of Visibility I want to talk about the double edged sword of visibility, and how my relationship to Trans Visibility has changed over the decade I have been publicly out as a trans woman. Thread/ #TransDayOfVisibility”
- Transgender Day of Visibility | GLAAD
- Why Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill fills me with dread as a young person in the UK
- Owen Jones 🌹 on Twitter: “History rarely repeats itself, but it often rhymes. The parallels between the backlash against trans rights and gay rights are astonishing. This is Anita Bryant, chart topping singer, orange juice promoter – and the face of the anti-gay rights movement in the US in the 1970s. https://t.co/LIjKLMWe1P”
- Gay swans and non-binary butterflies: Neiama’s menagerie of photographic portraits challenges masculine stereotypes
- CuriousBritishTelly on Twitter: “Rainbow to the theme from Knight Rider https://t.co/0tbULN6GvC”
- Latest coronavirus advice from the National Autistic Society (UK)
Toxic positivity affirmations are bad, and so is this.
When you really want it, you are unstoppable. Unless what you really want is hammer time in which case, stop. Hammer time.