Diversity

I’ve occasionally done trans awareness talks. When I do, I always start the same way. I tell people that if they take away one message about trans people, the message I want them to take away is that trans people are diverse. Very, very diverse.

There are no reliable statistics on trans people in the UK, let alone differences within the trans population. However, I reckon in the last 12 years or so, I have personally met upwards of a thousand trans people. Those include trans people who are: Christian; Buddhist; Muslim; Jewish; atheist; agnostic; white; black; Asian; mixed-race; gay; straight; bisexual; pansexual; asexual; have identities on the split attraction model; single; married; divorced; widowed; in a civil partnership; don’t believe in marriage; polyamorous; go out cruising; go to kink parties; have kids born before transition; have kids born after transition; adopted kids; foster kids; don’t want kids.

I have met trans people who are deaf; have Aspergers; cerebral palsy; schizophrenia; depression; and PTSD. I know trans people who first realised they were trans when they were three, and people who first realised at seventy-three. I have met trans doctors, lawyers, care workers, nurses, childcare workers, artists, construction workers, full-time carers, policy officers, police officers, waiters, local government officers and politicians. I have met trans people with a wide range of gender identities, from seeing themselves as simply male or female, to seeing themselves as non-binary, agender, gender fluid, bigender, demigender and a whole range of other identities. I have met trans people who have made a whole range of medical, social and legal choices, including choosing not to have medical treatment or seek legal recognition. I have met trans people who haven’t had those choices open to them. There are many more examples I could give.

If you have ever thought “Am I the only one who is trans and who is…” No. You aren’t. If you think “Is it a thing to be trans and..?” Yes. It is. And if you think “Well, I’ve met some trans people (or I am trans), I know all about trans people’s experiences”. No. You don’t, any more than you know all about the experiences of any other group of diverse people. So seriously, if you take one thing away, it’s diversity. I have tried to be as open as possible in this site, but if I’ve missed anything – my apologies.

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