Monday, 4 April 2016

Days of Gratitude - International Transgender Day of Visibility

Just one day from the gratitude diary.  I confess I wasn't that visible on this day.  I can't be too visible unless I go out and then I am visible.  At least I think I am - I do get stared at a lot.  A friend had a competition with me to see which of us gets stared at the most.  I won.  We don't really mind though.  If people stare at us then it is a worry to them not to us.  Let them stare.

I did manage to get out in the evening.  I'm quite proud of that because the day was hard.  I ended up on the floor, crying.  My head wasn't doing well.  But I went out - to an introductory talk with practical exercises on the subject of scrying and similar things like the use of flames and pendulums.  People use them for divination of all kinds of things but I am a sceptic.  I am very doubtful about these things.  I think they can all be used though as an intuitive tool to get in touch with the answers we already know, with our inner selves.  They help us to move out of our heads and away from all the blockages and rituals we have in our heads that stop us finding answers.  As that kind of tool I think these things can be really useful.  Not that I use them much.  But personally I haven't seen good evidence that they could be used to foretell events or reveal anything that we don't on some level know already.

Yes. Getting out was hard but I did it.  Yay for me!  Anyway.  My gratitude diary post.  And I really am grateful for being able to be me.

31st March

It was International Transgender Day of Visibility.

As a trans person in the UK who finally came out in 2013 I have a lot to be grateful for. A lot. I am in a situation where most people I meet respect me for doing this not reject me. (Some people did reject me and it hurt at the time but life is better now.)

We have come so far. The law has improved. Media portrayals have improved. We're not always the butt of the joke any more, that frequent punchline of "Eugh, disgusting, you accidentally fancied one of THOSE." Our stories are being told. Lots. This day was even covered in The Metro, with stories from several trans people. For the majority of people, at least in this area, it's almost a non-issue. Clare is Clare. People are people.

Visibility is important. Without all the trans people who have dared to be visible and open we would not be where we are now.

But we have a long way to go. I don't think I know a single trans person who has transitioned or is transitioning and who hasn't received quite a lot of abuse for it, mainly verbal, sometimes physical.

The law doesn't give full equality yet. Health care and support is still inadequate. Some of the churches and other religious groups treat trans people horribly.

And in other countries things are much, much worse. It takes a lot of bravery to be visible at all in some places. Where going out results in prison or a high risk of being murdered. Where there is a lot more hatred.

I am grateful. Because I have been able to stand up and be Clare not him. Because my life is so much better as a result of doing it. Grateful for the people who did it before me, who often struggled far more than I had to.

Their struggles paved the way for where we are today.

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