Be a trans ally
Founded in 2009 by transgender activist Rachel
Crandall, International Transgender Day of Visibility occurs each year on 31st March.
In recent years, trans visibility has increased with the coming out of
celebrities and expanded media interest – not all of it positive. This event
celebrates the resilience and success of transgender and gender non-conforming
people and raises awareness of transgender rights around the world.
There are many ways we can be trans allies, as
these pieces of advice from trans and non-binary people explain:
Wednesday Holmes (they/them),
illustrator, activist for queer liberation with Voices4 London.
“Cis people could make a start by researching the
difference between sex and gender, how many sexes there are, what intersex is.
Much of what people believe about gender and sex is very outdated. Many are
still using simplistic and untruthful information that they learned about
gender when they were three years old. This misinformation is leading people to
spread ignorance about trans, gender non-conforming and intersex (TGNCI)
people. I would encourage trans allies to stay motivated, keep an open mind and
carry empathy with them, always.”
Axelle (they/them), queer activist and
founder of the Black Trans Foundation.
“Watch trans documentaries and read trans stories.
I would recommend these free ones on YouTube: Meet Young Non-Binary Australians Who Don’t Identify
as Male or Female, Gender Diversity and Identity in Queertopia, I Am They: A
Non-binary Transgender Love Story, Laverne Cox Presents the T Word.”
Bobbi Pickard (she/her), founder of
Trans in the City.
“How can cis people be better trans allies?
Education: learn about trans, teach others, attend, and run trans-awareness
events so people fill the vacuum of knowledge about what trans is with the
truth rather than the misdirection’s from anti-trans organisations – speak to
trans people before you speak about them.
Celebrate: being trans is a perfectly natural
variation of being human so celebrate and support it like we should support all
our diversities, be actively positive about trans people and just spread some
love in the face of the wave of hate and vilification that is assaulting the
trans community right now.”
Sabah Choudrey (they/them), trans youth
worker with Gendered Intelligence, co-director of Colours Youth Network,
trustee of the Inclusive Mosque Initiative.
“Solidarity is not a yes or a no, not a tick box.
Solidarity is an action, it is a movement, it is a muscle that we need to
exercise over and over. Working together is action after action, just like
unlearning, anti-racism and anti-transphobia is a process. Solidarity moves; it
reacts, it changes, it fits, and it connects to whatever a community needs.
Solidarity asks, what can we do? And does it. Then, asks again.
“I want to share a quote from the Queensland
Aboriginal activists’ group: ‘If you have come here to help me, you are wasting
your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine,
then let us work together.’”