April 28, 2016

The Silent T

I guess there will always be oppression. Some might argue it’s necessary as it gives us something to fight against. Each generation has the struggle of its time – some have more. For a long time ours was gay rights. We’ve come a long way and still have far to go, but the general consensus is that in the west, things are moving forward.

The gamechanger – in this century at least – was arguably the increasing support from straight allies. The stonewall riots and subsequent response from LGBT people worldwide (and let’s not forget the horrifically tragic AIDS epidemic) set the ball rolling and the flames well and truly alight, but it’s the growing number of straight men and women ‘coming out’ in support of their LGBT brothers and sisters that truly tipped the scales in favour of equality in the law.

The problem is, we forgot one of the letters. In every debate on the subject the T always seemed to be silenced.

I understand there is a time and a place for everything. Stonewall was the anger – next came the attempts at mutual connection (I’m just like you!) – then it was as simple as being on the right side of history. Throughout the decades of the movement, gays have had the monopoly over the fight.

Now is the time to rediscover the T.

The statistics attached to Trans* individuals are heartbreaking. If we think stats on gay suicide are bad, take a look at transgender teens. If we think the number of homophobic hate crimes are awful, take a look at the number of trans women murdered in the past year in America alone. You think gay marriage was tough? Try having to fight for the right to use the fucking bathroom! Even the NHS can’t handle the apparently ‘arduous’ task of teaching its doctors what to be transgender means.

If we can’t even teach our doctors, how the hell can we support our kids? If you don’t think we should have to, how could you call yourself a parent?

I am not a parent or a doctor. Nor do I have a huge number of transgender friends, but I do know what it’s like to be marginalised. More than that I know how it feels to hide who you are for fear other people might not accept it.

It sucks. And it’s stupid. But the truth is it’s reality for a lot of people.

Luckily, I know what it’s like to be supported. Thanks to my brothers and sisters – both LGBT people and straight allies – I’ve grown up in a society that, for the most part, allows me to be me.
Once a year it even celebrates it!

But what of my transgender family? The brothers and sisters and everything in between? The people who marched with us at Stonewall, the people who helped us get our rights.

They don’t get the full support of our community. They certainly don’t get the support of society as a whole. And that’s not fair. It’s time now to take a stand against the disgusting laws, judgments and attitudes currently plagueing the UK. It’s time to make a change.

That change starts with medical professionals educating themselves on the physical and mental struggles facing trans individuals in the UK today. Without them, we fall at the very first hurdle. Without them, vital medical and emotional support is kept out of the reach of those who need it most.

A young activist and transgender woman named Charlie Craggs recently started a petition calling on the NHS to end transphobia amongst its doctors and begin to train its GP’s to deal with issues faced by trans* patients in the UK.

I was shocked at her story because to me the respect of medical professionals and the chance to receive lifechanging (and often life-saving) support should be the biggest of all givens. The fact this is often not the case is disgusting.

Trans activists like Charlie, Ruth Hunt, Paris Lees, Owen Jones, Marsha P. Johnson, Juno Roche, Sabah Choudrey, Fox Fisher, Elly Barnes and so many more campaign tirelessly for equality. Now it’s our turn to join them.

So, I – as a cisgender, gay woman – am asking you, whoever you are – gay, straight, cis, trans* and everything in between – to sign and share this petition and show your solidarity to a group of people who just want to be treated with respect.

It’s about equality. It’s about fairness. It’s about people receiving the healthcare they deserve.

Sign the petition. Share with friends.  Spread the news that we support our trans* family too.

Don’t forget the T.

It’s as simple as that.

 

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Sign the petition HERE

The Q supports the right all of humans to fair treatment and a good quality of life. For any questions or to share your story, get in touch at ourteamq@gmail.com of find us on twitter @ourteamq.

This post was written and edited by @shmallett

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LGBT, NHS, Politics, Transgender, Uncategorized

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