It’s International Transgender Day of Visibility today, so hello: I’m one of the transgender people the newspapers keep warning you about.
Like all trans people I’ve been issued with my own copy of The Sinister Transgender Agenda, and I’m going use it as the template for all sorts of unimaginably weird and depraved trans stuff if my demands aren’t met.
My demands are simple.
1. Please don’t be a dick to trans people.
2. That’s it.
Trans people have existed as long as people have existed, and people have been dicks towards trans people for pretty much all of that period. Trans people have long been the victims of discrimination, prejudice, violence and inflammatory newspaper articles, and it’s pretty clear that no amount of online abuse or ranting by washed-up novelists is going to make anybody any less trans.
People don’t choose to be trans. If it were a job, nobody would apply for it. The only choice trans people get is how they deal with it. For many, it’s the choice between a miserable life denying it or a difficult life accepting it.
I’m lucky to have a safe life in a safe bit of the world and work in an industry where people are cool with the whole trans thing. But many trans people don’t, and their lives are harder than many of us can or care to imagine.
Nobody looks at the shit women and LGB people endure and decides they’d just love to be on the receiving end of it. But trans people have to deal with misogyny, homophobia, ignorance, discrimination, verbal abuse, the threat of physical violence and the kind of dehumanising columns people used to write about LGB people in the 1980s. All of that comes free with every copy of The Sinister Transgender Agenda.
You already know trans people. You just might not know them as trans people because they haven’t told you, because it isn’t obvious, or because they keep their true identity secret. You could be living next door to, or in the same building as, Superman or Wonder Woman.
So today is about gently reminding the world that trans people aren’t the monsters you read about in the tabloids or see stereotyped on TV. We’re sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, friends and colleagues and teammates and neighbours. We’re rarer than redheads but no less fabulous, and all we want is to be treated with dignity and respect. I don’t think there’s anything sinister about that.