It’s strange to be talking about trans visibility when I spent so much of my life trying to hide my transness, both from the world and myself.
It’s hard for trans people to show themselves because there’s still so much risk involved.
That’s why International Transgender Day Of Visibility is so important.
It’s a day when trans people are encouraged to be proud of who they are and the community they belong to.
It’s a chance to stand up and declare ‘LOOK AT ME! Look at what I’ve done. Look at what I had to go through just to get here.’
Attempted suicide, abusive relationships, addiction, therapy, surgery, surgery, and more surgery.
These are just some of the stops along the trans road of my life.
You’re damn right I feel people should look at me and acknowledge what I had to go through because of how our society is constructed.
It’s a far cry from the days when I couldn’t even bear having someone look at me at all, and that’s thanks to all the trans people who have gone before me.
Unlike the Transgender Day Of Remembrance that takes place later in the year, this is not about mourning the innumerable lives we’ve lost.
This is about the ones who made it.
The ones who managed, every single day, to rise from bed and face a world designed to keep them as it dictates.
This day is about the trans people who have changed society for the rest of us, and for those of us whose very lives are an act of defiance.
Transgender Day Of Visibility is about showing those still terrified of revealing who they are that they too have a future – and it can be a bright one.
It’s about refusing to hide in the shadows like some sort of freak because certain sections of society would prefer to persecute than challenge their own narrow minds.
And, of course, the more people are exposed to others they find scary, confusing, or ‘wrong’, the sooner those same people come to accept we aren’t a threat.
But why should you care? What does it really have to do with you?
Nothing, I guess.
Unless you’re a decent human being who doesn’t like contributing to the suffering of others.
But if you are, you should care.
You should care a lot.