Non-binary activist Jamie Windust makes emphatic call for cis people to start showing up for the trans community
Non-binary writer, public speaker and model Jamie Windust has called for cisgender people to show up for the trans community in a TEDxLondonWomen talk.
Describing transphobia as being rooted in “fascism and white supremacy”, the 22-year-old’s powerful talk wove their own personal experiences as a non-binary person with statistics about the violence faced by the trans community.
Windust, who is the editor of Fruitcake magazine and signed to Crumb modelling agency, said that they wished they could make the audience “really care” about trans people in their talk, entitled “Support for trans people isn’t radical – it’s urgent“.
“The reaction to the talk has been absolutely overwhelming,” Windust told PinkNews. “I am so happy that it resonated with people, and hit them in a way that makes them think about their position in society, whatever community they’re a part of, and how they can ensure trans people are included in the conversations, and that direct action comes from it.”
“It’s great to see the response as it’s such a personal story, but aside from me, I want people to listen to what I’m saying about the intricacies and intersectionality within our community,” they said.
— Reeta Loi (LOIAL) (@r_e_e_t_a_) January 6, 2020
Online praise for Windust’s 10-minute talk has called them “indomitable”, “phenomenal”, “powerful”, “brilliant” and “moving”.
“Absolutely necessary viewing for anyone who considers themselves an ally to our trans siblings and anyone who wants to be/do better (which should be all of you),” one Twitter user wrote.
The brilliant @jamie_windust did a @TEDx talk recently and it’s powerful, important and so necessary in these desperately transphobic times. Please take a few minutes out of your day to listen and absorb – https://t.co/cBQhNr84QH ?????? pic.twitter.com/9ozxxMwtjJ
— Natasha Devon (@_NatashaDevon) January 7, 2020
Jamie Windust told PinkNews that, amongst the positive responses to their talk, what stood out for them were the messages they’d received from young trans people.
“Our media has painted young trans people, and parents/guardians of young trans people as the enemy for so long, that seeing them able to feel strength and resonate with the words that I am saying is something I cherish so strongly,” they said.
As well speaking out about the online hate directed at the trans community and the violence aimed at trans women of colour in particular, Windust spoke at TEDxLondonWomen of their joy, as a 16-year-old, at wearing red lipstick for the first time.
It’s that joy that they want people to remember, they say now: “Throughout our journeys in this world as trans people, we are constantly reminded of the ways in which we are disregarded, vilified and belittled, and although I spoke about that, I wanted to convey that it also possible to feel joyous externally, as well as internally as trans people.
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“We know we are valid, and know we are capable of joy, but often we forget that we are allowed to feel it, and own it, and that’s what I want people to take away.”
The video of their talk, which took place in December 2019 at London‘s Southbank Centre, was posted yesterday (January 6) and has since been viewed more than 1,000 times.