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Angry about transphobia today? Here are some things you can do with that rage

Vic Parsons March 3, 2020
Angry about transphobia? Here are some things you can do with that rage

London's first ever Trans Pride march on 14 September, 2019. (Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

I’m sick and tired of being told that trans people are a threat to women, girls and feminism. And I’m sick and tired of not being able to call this out for what it is: transphobia.

And after yet another newspaper article about how the struggle for transgender rights is “silencing women” – published, unironically, by a national newspaper – the internet is alight with angry trans allies.

Today’s show of support and solidarity with the trans and non-binary community is self-evidently a Good Thing, for myriad reasons. My favourite is that it’s the exact opposite of what the person who wrote the article wanted.

But if you’ve been angrily tweeting in response to that article today, I ask you to consider this: do you feel this rage on behalf of the trans community every day? Because, while that article has obviously struck a nerve, it was not particularly unusual.

Transphobic articles are published every single day. Every. Single. Day. Transgender people with an online presence are attacked every single day. Offline, transgender people are attacked or mocked or excluded or subjected to cruelty every single day.

Trans and non-binary people, estimated to make up just one per cent of the UK’s population, need your rage today.

But your righteous anger at the treatment of trans people by the media cannot just be in reaction to a particularly egregious article.

We need your rage every day. Because the transphobia we face – the explicit hate-crime type, and the covert “concern for women and children” type, and all the types in-between – is an every-single-day occurrence.

Anger is an incredibly useful emotion, especially when translated into long-term, sustainable, meaningful action.

So, take your rage at that article, and put it to use.

Complain about that article.

Respond to Scotland’s public consultation on potential changes to the Gender Recognition Act, which could make it simpler for transgender people to update the gender on their birth certificate.

Set up a regular monthly donation to an organisation helping trans people, like Mermaids, CliniQ, Gendered Intelligence, Action for Trans Health or Stonewall.

Write to your MP in support of trans rights.

Complain about transphobic media coverage in the UK.

The NHS is in such dire shape that many trans people resort to crowdfunding the money they need to privately pay for vital healthcare. Donate to, and share, trans people’s crowdfunders.

Ask your workplace to book Gendered Intelligence for a Trans Awareness lunch and learn session.

Put your gender pronouns in your email signature. Your Twitter bio. On your business cards.

Share articles written by trans people. Give editors and media organisations who commission trans writers positive feedback.

Read up on the issues that affect trans and non-binary people.

Call out transphobia when you see it – online, in person, in public. Today and every day.

And if you’re not sure what constitutes transphobia, remember: trans people are in charge of defining what is and isn’t transphobic, no matter how often, or how sneakily, transphobes try to move that line.

More: gender critical feminism, gender recognition act, insitutional transphobia, transphobia

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