Why I'm tired of talking about being trans
With the Scottish and UK Governments both consulting on the Gender Recognition Act, trans people have been thrust into the mainstream media. But instead of talking about being trans, let’s chat about why I don’t want to talk about being trans.
You know when you’re in a group of new people and you have to introduce yourself? Those moments when you have to think of a fun fact about yourself and panic because all of a sudden you realise how boring you are? This happens to me all too often. I usually end up talking about my dogs or tattoos, but I’ve yet to throw being transgender in as a fun fact. For me, it’s not an interesting part of my life; day to day it’s not something I think about, and sometimes I don’t fancy discussing one of the most private parts of my life with strangers.
I’m tired of my personal life being in the news or being used as a political pawn. I’m tired of people who don’t know me feeling like it’s appropriate to comment on my life or my ‘choices’: making an assumption that I’d choose to be trans. I’m tired of hearing sensationalised headlines about me. I’m yet to figure out why I’d choose to be more at risk of experiencing mental health problems, of self-harm or taking my own life, or why I’d choose to be at a higher risk of becoming homeless or experiencing a hate crime. If anyone has any answers, please do let me know, because I’d LOVE to discuss it with you.
I’m tired of seeing anti-trans propaganda, of having to argue about my own identity, or seeing my friends argue about their identity. Random people have a say in which laws protect me and have the ability to strip those from me. Political landscapes across the world are always changing and I see countries take steps forward and steps back, years of campaigning can be erased at the flick of a switch. The process of changing my birth certificate is so wrapped in bureaucracy that I have to pay a panel of civil servants - who I’ll never meet - to decide whether I meet their list of criteria or not.
I’m tired of talking about being trans, because I’m so much more than my trans identity. I don’t spend all day thinking about my transness, so neither should you.
Having said that, I do have reasons why I’m not tired of talking about being trans. I could tell you about the best friends I’ve met, how being open and honest has given me opportunities to lobby for change. I’ve been able to use my experiences to shape schools and support my past teachers with future trans students. I’ve been able to support young trans people and their families. I can be a source of information.
The reason I won’t stop talking about being trans? I’m so much happier because I can be my authentic self.
The #OurLives campaign exists to shine a spotlight on trans youth and let their voices be heard. You'll find more content on our main campaign page here.