When it comes to trans people in the UK, conversations about us generally immediately turn to the deadly waitlists at gender clinics and general inaccessibility of trans healthcare, or the almost daily attacks on trans people in the media that fuel discrimination and violence, or the ongoing vendetta against the right for trans people to exist in public spaces that is creeping up within institutions and legislation, or statistics about how all of these things lead to trans people being disproportionately affected by poverty, homelessness, harassment, and suicide attempts. These are important conversations to have and important things to know, but there are other things I wish people knew too and sometimes I don’t want to have a conversation about trans rights, I want to have a conversation about trans joy.
I can imagine it’s easy enough to hear about all those things and come to a conclusion along the lines of “being trans sounds awful”, but that would be false. All of those things are awful, they make my life exponentially more difficult, affecting pretty much every aspect from personal relationships to my future career. But transness itself is incredible, and it is something I cherish. Transness leads to understanding the world in new and exciting ways, understanding yourself in new and exciting ways, and finding new and exciting forms of self expression. Moments of gender euphoria evoke such strong feelings of giddiness, relief, happiness, comfort, excitement, and pride. Amongst all the adversities trans people face, it is important that we remember and hold onto those moments of joy.
With a situation as bleak as the current reality for trans people in the UK, it is vital that cis comrades keep showing up, but from them I do not want pity – I want respect, support, and understanding. I do not wish to fight for a society in which trans people are merely tolerated, I demand a society where trans people are celebrated and given the opportunity to thrive.