“There is something even worse than being abused in the street”

Molly Mulready is a mum-of-three, and one of her kids is trans. She writes in The Guardian:

My son, in his distress, helped me realise that there is something even worse than being abused in the street, and that’s being told by strangers you’re not who you know you are, that the truth of you is not acceptable so if you want to be safe – be normal, please.

Being thought of as funny-looking, a weak man or a manly, ugly woman, the titanic social pressure to look your gender, physical discomfort, even pain, are a small price to pay.

A baggy jumper in summer heat, chest binders, hormone blockers, side-effects, surgery; being more likely to attempt suicide, be homeless, be the victim of violent crime, murder, sexual assault.

Certain countries wholly out of bounds, a crime to be you, violence inevitable, media debates that aren’t kind, that make your mother flinch and rush to switch the radio off, change the subject, protect you.

Having to be tolerant of intolerance, taking deep breaths and bracing yourself, standing tall – they don’t know how fast your heart is beating, how much your palms are sweating.