“Screw trying to be Barbie.”
“Screw trying to be Barbie.”
Following recent events, I got thinking about the hellish time I had at school, and the similar experiences others have had. Of course, at the time I had no idea what trans even was, or why I felt the way I did. I just knew I was different, and children will pick up on any difference and bully mercilessly for it. It wasn’t until recently revisiting that experience that I realised how much I felt failed by the teachers and many others, and failed by the system that was meant to protect me. In fact, because they did nothing, I feel like I was failed by the school. There is no doubt in my mind that this constituted neglect of a duty of care on their part.
I also remember reading a report online, and hearing something on the radio which were both discussing the often rampant homophobia present in many schools even to this day. I remember how at school the word gay was used as an insult, and even used to denote anything perceived as ‘bad’. Anything they didn’t like would be called ‘gay’. The report said this use of language is still very prevalent today, and they were discussing ways of bringing about a culture change. It seems like homophobia and transphobia quite often fester together within a community of any kind. Looking back, I can clearly see that within my school homophobia and transphobia existed together, although at that age I didn’t necessarily recognise the latter, and only had a basic idea of the former. It’s also interesting homophobia and transphobia, and the idea of guilt and self-blaming that comes about because of lack of awareness can become internalised within people over time.
Inspired by the above, and the recent t-zone podcast where we discussed some aspects of childhood for trans children (which can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dal5bL7i6_4), I have decided this may be an interesting topic to consider.
How do we bring about the culture change that seems to be so much needed in our schools? How do we provide an inclusive environment where trans children (and those of other minorities) feel comfortable and safe? It seems the school system is still currently failing pupils as it did back when I was at school. A system that permits discrimination or creates an environment conducive to such is in fact discriminating itself, because it is saying that trans children are not worthy of such protection, or are worth less. I feel for young people today. Such transphobia, guilt and self-hatred can easily become internalised. Trans children today deserve to be nurtured and protected as much as any other child. To fail to do so is nothing other than neglect.
It’s best to transition like a fine wine, you can’t rush it. It matures slowly, the – finest things take time. When you put love and passion into it it blossoms with beauty as a reflection of yourself.
Time 4 T Radio Reverb
Each month we will be diving into trans news, reviews and interviews from Brighton, the UK as well as what’s happening globally, good and bad. Oh and some kicking tunes old and new.
If you’d like to contribute to the show, or there’s piece of music you’d particularly like to hear, please contact Claire via the form below or follow her on twitter @ItsClaireParker
Putting the script together for this Sunday 15th’s Time 4 T with an amazing line up.
Roz Kaveney talking about her new book Sarah Graham Solutions talking Intersex issues
and @Kathy Caton talking Brighton Transformed all at 3pm on @Radio Reverb with me Claire Parker.
I thought it was about time I introduced myself here. My name is Jo and I will be adding my two pennies every now and again. I’d like to say thanks to Rebecca for starting this lovely website.
P. S. Congratulations on reaching 200 signatories to the petition!
Hello all lovely people of transiness
When a TV channel airs comedians who band around the T word, they are appealing to those who bear low levels of human empathy.
By natural order the television networks will not produce this material or work with those who do simply because societal pressure will publically “call out” those that
do. This is where I value the work of Rebecca and transiness to portray the joy and reality of trans people and culture.
Then when transphobic material is broadcast it gives the whole world a chance to look at the lesson which is just as valuable to onlookers.
It doesn’t happen overnight and yes those committed to these goals truly have to work astonishingly hard to see the great work done.
I truly believe in a world where one can openly identify as trans and where stealth becomes and “option” not a “necessity” and to do that beautiful souls please stand in
solidarity with my intent*.
(*) Everyone bears the inalienable right to do as feels right to them
In Lak’ech (I am another yourself)
“We always dreamed about this better life, this better life.
We always felt it coming all along, yeah all along.
We’ve got the keys to open paradise, yeah paradise.
Now let’s go walking hand in hand,
Come on baby we can hit the lights”.
So a friend of mine transitioned on the job, like me. She lives in a small town in the states. Everyone knows each other, everyone knows about her… and everyone in the next town… and the town after that. So, just for giggles, every now and then she pops into her local equivalent of Halfords, picks this up, and takes it to the counter.
Just for giggles.
I think one of the reasons I started transiness is because I never wanted people to suffer the way I did, the way I held inside who I was at great personal expense – for the sake of a society that was not prepared to accept me. When I first went to a support group, one of my first reactions was – oh god, there are others who feel the same way. I thought I was mad. I no longer felt alone in my struggle to keep myself hidden. When I came out I cried for a week. I cried for all those times I kept myself at bay, I cried for that girl, that teenager, that young adult forced to behave and act in a way she was not comfortable with. I cried at her despair with her body.
It’s a long struggle that many transsexual women I have talked with share. And it is by talking with other trans people that I realised how beautiful they are. I realised how they kept themselves at bay, and how difficult it was for them. I cried for my friends and their suffering. Many people who suffer go on to help others in a similar situation, and this is how I became an activist. I’m not angry. I’m upset. I’m upset because I see my friends being hurt by something that isn’t their fault. I’m upset because we, as trans people, try so hard to hold each other tightly – for fear of loss. Because in every trans person, there is a part of me. And as I learned to love myself and care for myself and I learned to break my bonds, I learned to care for others like me. I hope in some way by helping others think differently about themselves, be proud to be who they are, that I can make a difference – however small that might be. And I hope that people might be able to learn to see what I see in trans people. In all the diversity… there is joy.
Sometimes trans people don’t blend. But that isn’t a bad thing at all, Eddie Izzard, who self describes as an action transvestite shows us what it’s all about. Thank-you for making me smile, Eddie 😀