Trans Visibilty Day

Today is International Transgender Day of Visibility.

Over the years, I have got to know many people in various states of equilibrium or transition along the gender spectrum. Some of them have had it very tough indeed. Fortunately for me, broadly speaking, I can be described not as “trans” but as “cis”, i.e. my biological sex and psychological gender match. However, I do have at least some inkling of what it’s like to feel like you’re living in the wrong body: as a child/teenager, I was extremely short, with delayed development, requiring regular/daily injections of growth hormone over a number of years to get to my lofty height of 5’7″, all the while wishing I didn’t look quite so much like a comedy elf. So, even if I will never understand each individual’s own story, I am extremely sympathetic to the medical, social and legal issues that govern gender acceptance. I am also aware that, while visibility is a good thing, for many people who do “pass” in their reassigned gender the thought of being “outed” can be horrific.

In an ideal world, we wouldn’t make such a big thing of sex and gender in the first place. We should all be free to be silly or serious, creative or analytical, rational or emotional, plain or glittery, as and when feels right to us, and not told from an early age which behaviours are or are not gender-appropriate.

Some people seek medical intervention to make the best of what they’ve been given, to reconcile stark differences or to tidy up ambiguities. Some people require legal recognition to allow them to lead lives and relationships without being thwarted and degraded by bureaucracy. Some people seek not to be bullied or on the basis of their clothing or pronoun preferences. We would all benefit, as individuals and as a society, from changes in law and government that would make life easier for those who don’t fit the gender binary (including trans, intersex and ungendered). Fortunately, the Liberal Democrats have policy on this – actual party policy ready to be implemented when we’re next in government.

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