The 31st of March is Trans Day Of Visibility, a day where trans people celebrate ourselves, our achievements, and our community. It's also a day where allies can celebrate the trans people in their lives, and to make themselves known as allies in a very active way. Below, I want to share some of the times I have felt most affirmed and celebrated. I also want to share some of what's going on for trans people right now, and I want to suggest some ways you can show allyship.
When you create a relationship with another person, communication is key. We often hear this phrase, and it can be just as often ignored because of how cliche it sounds. We know relationships are very complicated, so a solution for helping a relationship flourish can’t be simple. You’d be correct in assuming so. What’s important to understand, however, is that the word “communication” actually has a ton of implications. Communication should be mutual, open, honest, respectful, patient, frequent, and done with integrity. It’s unfortunately not yet common for everyone in a relationship to value communication. And when discussing relationships involving a-spec (“a-spectrum”; aromantic and asexual) people, there is always a growing list of misconceptions to thwart on top of the rest.
A poem that has withstood the test of time and is frequently quoted, even by those who do not know the poem, and one that many people can identify. The road to identifying your sexuality has many twists and turns and far more paths than the two mentioned in the poem. Throughout my life I had travelled many roads, for many reasons, and not always the correct ones, and whilst I’m not sure I am on the perfect path yet, I am certainly much closer to finding it.
I was born and grew up in the snowy mountains of NSW where my family ran a ski lodge. My brother (5 years my senior) and I were fortunate to have the snowfields as our winter playground and our summer backyard.
‘Straight people don’t lie awake and night wondering if they are gay’ This was the message I saw on a video in early 2020 that lead to the biggest change in my life. Finally accepting that I was a lesbian.
The word “non-binary” has been fundamentally misinterpreted inside and outside the queer community. This is evidenced by the way that many people who are not queer treat and use the label. Even people inside the community use the word incorrectly at times or reduce this identity which at its core is the description of a spectrum to individual segments. “Non-binary” encompasses a vast range of gender identities (and identities that lie beyond the traditional idea of what a gender even is), from demiboy to agender to xenogender, and the lack of education regarding this diverse universe of gender leads to LGBTQIA+ gatekeeping, infighting, and ridicule of the queer community from the outside.
When I first came out as nonbinary back in September of 2021, I did not know what sort of roller coaster I was jumping onto. All I knew was that I was celebrating six months into my legal name change, starting a career as a full-time ELA instructor, and struggling with exposing my own truth.
Within the LGBTQIA+ community, there are many different identities. These identities come in many shapes, colours and forms. One of these identities is Asexual, which is one of the identities to share the A within the acronym. As I was exploring my identity, I had trouble figuring out what I was experiencing regarding sexual attraction. I was confused and curious, so I started my journey to discover what I was experiencing.
As a community, we rarely ever acknowledge autistic lesbians. We know, naturally, that some lesbians are on the spectrum, but autism and lesbianism are treated as two completely different and unrelated identities. Today is Lesbian Day of Visibility, so let’s visibilize this unique experience, too.
Ahh, asexuality, arguably the most misunderstood, and oft-ignored, orientation on the spectrum. In my experience of coming out as ace (and I’ve come out to different people a few times now, always in circumstances where I was being pressed about what my love life was like) the reactions I’ve received run the gamut from accepting to dismissive, from curious to confused, to, I kid you not, downright disappointed. And in almost all of these cases I have been asked to explain or clarify what being asexual was like, what it meant or how it was even possible.
To explain why visability is important to me as a trans man I need to first take you back to the beginning of my journey as just like a movie the ending wont make much sense if you miss the start and middle.
I first knew that being AFAB was not the most comfortable option for me well before I even consciously understood what it meant to be a human being on this place people were calling Earth. My first memory of finding out that I was in fact, not who I thought I was as early as 2-3 years old when I was scolded for running around with my brothers shirtless. I was very quickly introduced to the expectations put on me from that moment forward about what it meant to be AFAB here in this realm, and regardless I still could not bring myself to conform to the rules. I spent the rest of my childhood defying all the obstacles and pleas that were placed in front of me or directly imprinted on me as I navigated the world as a growing human body.