I spoke to a few trans folk: ordinary people trying to go about their daily routines as well as community leaders advocating on their behalf. The result was unanimous and shocking, and not just for the general level of abuse reported back. For this, in the end, is not so much about abuse or danger, but a growing fear that government, in yet another desperate populist lurch, will roll back the still limited place trans folk have been granted, making the UK a more hostile place for all.
…if rhetoric does turn to action – if the Tory party reverts to its longer-term status as “nasty party” in respect of LGBT+ people – who can blame trans people for seeking safety elsewhere. We have seen what is happening in Trump’s America. Seen, too, how quickly rights can be stripped away in places like Hungary or Brazil. And we know that without state protection, the violence that some would like to direct our way will swiftly escalate.
I do not wish to leave the UK. I am not going any time soon.
But if the UK lurches further right, descending further into desperate populism, the time may yet come when, like my father before me, I can no longer live safely in the country where I was born.
Some of us want to leave but can’t. I know because I’m one of them.