Transgender Day of Visibility
For Transgender Day of Visibility, your LGBT+ Officer Vee has put together some helpful hints and tips on ways to support the transgender community.
1. How do pronouns work?
Everyone uses pronouns! They are words used to refer to individuals or groups. There are common pronouns like he/she/they as well as a whole plethora of neo-pronouns such as xe/xem/xyr, ze/hir/hirs, ey/em/eir.
There are so many variations of pronouns used by so many people, some people combine pronouns and use (for example) he/they – in which case doing your best to use both interchangeably is very much appreciated.
If you wish to address a non-binary person formally, the gender-neutral alternative to Miss/Mr is Mx – pronounced ‘mix’
Sometimes multiple pronouns and neo-pronouns can seem super daunting and confusing, and they can take some practice to get right, but always keep in mind that trying your best can do wonders for your trans friend’s comfort and confidence!
(the neo-pronouns fae/faer/faeself are considered appropriative because of their roots in pagan culture)
2. There is no "one way" to be trans!
Some trans people take hormones, some have surgery, some have cosmetic procedures, some do all of these things, some do none!
Like any other group of people trans people are individuals, and they explore and express their gender identities in their own ways. Some trans people align with the gender binary, some do not, and non-binary trans people are not all androgynous.
Not all trans people wish to or are able to ‘pass’ as their gender identity, this is not a failing of trans people, it is symbolic of a failing of the binary gender expression that’s favoured by our current society.
Remember that trans people are at a higher risk of abuse, discrimination and depression and therefore some trans people for safety reasons may not come out or begin expressing their gender identities at the pace they would like. The current average Gender Clinic waiting time is over 3 years, and there is no longer any gender clinics available to under 18s, meaning trans youth have no access to essential gender healthcare like therapy and reversible hormone blockers.
3. Paperwork! Paperwork! Paperwork!
Coming out as transgender has many differences to the coming out process for cisgender people, for example, there’s considering gender clinic referrals, the legal name change process, and for non-binary people – absolutely no way to have your gender legally recognised at present.
If you are changing your name you need to get a deed poll, you can generate one for free on www.freedeedpoll.org.uk – you don't have to have it witnessed or signed by a solicitor, nor notarised, for it to be valid. A deed poll is valid as long as it complies with the information given on the gov.uk website. If your deed poll is refused because you did not use a solicitor, you can refer whoever refused it to the gov.uk website and demand they accept it. Make sure you print off multiple copies and that the witnesses who sign it are 18+, not related to you and do not live at the same address as you.
4. How can I be a trans ally right now?
Dispel the misinformation that is currently affecting trans people and their access to healthcare. Recently, because of public misunderstanding and transphobia, trans youth have lost access to healthcare completely. Puberty blockers, a completely reversible and temporary treatment used to alleviate gender dysphoria in trans youth, were banned for use on under-16s. These medications are most effective at the beginning of puberty, which for the majority of people begins before age 16, meaning this vital treatment is being withheld at its most effective point.
Donate to trans fundraisers, trans people use crowd-funding sites to raise the necessary funds for their transition or to access safe housing.
If you witness someone being misgendered (having the incorrect pronouns used for them) correct the person responsible! It’s as easy as “oh they actually use they/them pronouns”.
Albert Kennedy Trust
Supports LGBTQ people aged 16-25 who are homeless or living in a hostile environment.
British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)
Professional body for talking therapy and counselling. Provides information and a list of accredited therapists.
Directory of services and groups for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.
Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (FFLAG)
Offers support to parents, friends and family members of those who identify as LGBT+.
Provides helplines and other support for LGBTIQ+ adults and young people who have experienced hate crime, sexual violence or domestic abuse.
Gender Identity Research & Education Society (GIRES)
Works to improve the lives of of trans and gender non-conforming people of all ages, including those who are non-binary and non-gender.
Charity supporting young trans people aged under 25, and information for their parents and carers.
Information and advice for LGBT people on a range of issues.