Why be visible when the potential for harm is so real? For some of us living a trans identity, we have no choice but to be visible because we already are. And for those of us who are lucky enough to "pass" in public, it is even more important that we remind people that we are here and that we exist.
A recent study by the charity Stonewall found that 41% of trans people in the UK have experienced a hate crime or incident in the last year. The study also found that 25% of trans people have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives.
These are just some of the risks that trans people face when they are visible. But despite the risks, many of us choose to be visible because we believe it is important to challenge discrimination and prejudice.
This Pride Month, you will see me wearing my rainbow headband as a visible sign that I exist. In some cases, you may even see me wearing my rainbow dress along with the headband. This is how I have chosen to show a visible protest against everything that we are experiencing in our community these days that feels so hateful and so negative.
According to a recent study by myGwork, the majority of Brits (63%) want trans people to be better protected and supported. The study also found that 17% of Brits know someone who is transgender, up from 13% in 2021.
A report published by the youth charity Just Like Us found that 34% of 18- to 25-year-olds do not know a trans person. This is significant because it means that a third of the population does not have the opportunity to learn about and understand trans people firsthand.
When people know someone who is trans, they are more likely to have a positive attitude towards them. The Just Like Us report found that 87% of respondents who know someone who is trans have a supportive or very supportive attitude towards them.
To have a conversation with me, it's important to acknowledge my existence. This involves accepting others without any preconceived notions and recognizing their humanity and basic human rights. By having open and honest dialogue in a safe and non-judgmental environment, we can work towards acceptance with understanding, just like many people who already have a positive attitude towards the trans community.
Being this visible is my way of not only creating a visible protest but to say in doing that that I am here, that I am queer, that I exist, and i am not going anywhere.
In solidarity and pride, it is essential for society to acknowledge and accept the existence of trans individuals. Embracing visibility allows us to challenge discrimination, foster understanding through personal connections, and work towards acceptance. By creating a safe and non-judgmental environment for open dialogue, we can collectively build a more inclusive future where everyone's identity is respected and celebrated.