Dear Colleagues,

It has now been three months since I, the trans* person, entered your midst and there are a few things I’d like to get off my chest.

  • No matter how “well intentioned” it is never, NEVER appropriate to ask me what surgery/hormones/interventions I have had and will have. My body does not equal my gender, and the parts I was born with don’t matter. Facial hair doesn’t matter. My voice doesn’t matter. I have told you my pronouns and how to refer to me, that is all that matters.
  • There’s not excuse for excuses. You tell me it’s tough for you, hard to get your head around, it will take time to get used to…But it’s been 3 months, you’ve had time. You never knew me by any other name or gender, so what’s to get used to? However hard it is for you I can GUARANTEE it is much harder for me to be constantly misgendered and subject to indirect (or direct) transphobia.
  • Remember when you were discussing that Doctor and you said he worked on this ward…then someone said “oh she’s female actual” and you switched to female pronouns? Yes? It is simply THAT easy to gender someone correctly. It is that easy to gender me correctly.
  • You have invited all the blokes to join in groups and sports, except me. I have come to you as a guy, all be it a trans guy. But a guy. And if you exclude me from the male spaces you are essentially saying you do not see me as a man. You are erasing my identity and invalidating me. It may seem like a  small thing, but it makes the world of difference.
  • Your tomboy daughter or drag queen nephew do not mean you have “experience” with and knowledge of the trans* community. Just. NO. Once again, this invalidates the identity and experience of trans* people by likening the gender of somebody to the dress style of another person. Clothes do NOT equal gender, a drag queen is NOT a trans* woman.

And to those of you who have accepted me, thank you. To the colleague who discreetly bought my tampons when my period started whilst at work, when I was distressed and panicked about what to do, thank you. To the colleague who quietly but persistently corrected herself and others with my pronouns, thank you. To the people who have quietly changed from “love/pet” to “mate/bro”, thank you.

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