HAPPY TRANS* DAY OF VISIBILITY!
(I know I am a day behind!)
I have been looking at the different celebrations, blogs, tweets and so much more that has been flooding my own social media to celebrate Trans* Day of Visibility. there have been so many amazing works out there! An interesting slideshow put together by Cory Stieg looks at 18 Viral Tweets that were published yesterday well worth a look. As well as a personal story from Lee Hurley on metro.co.uk.
The idea of visibility was very much instilled in my Stuart Milk – Be Visible post in that he wanted to make sure people were visible in the community. Stuart wanted a freedom of identity and a freedom to celebrate all the myriads and wondrous variety of identities in general. I have read many fantastic, astonishing and shocking accounts of how trans* people have been treated and victimised. However, I am glad that there is a day of celebration for individuals to recognise their greatness, their potential and their achievements.
I know that trans* celebrities get a big following and support such as the wonderful Laverne Cox, Chaz Bono, Hari Nef and the incredible Jazz Jennings. But maybe due to my own working class background and my interests in social and cultural history I am interested in the non-celebrity individuals, the people that just muddle through – often having a particularly traumatic time.
I had been unaware of this individual until only this morning when my dad told me to look at a World War Two Veteran who had recently transitioned to finally become the woman that she had wanted to be.
This is Patricia Davies.
She fought in World War II April 1945-1948. She described herself as always knowing, for the age of three, that she was in the ‘wrong body’. She continued to live her life as society expected her to, marrying her wife, muddling through as the provider of the home and supportive of her wife. She was frightened to come out as trans* due to the association with homosexuality and being treated with ‘electric shock therapy’. This disgusts me. Knowing that this woman, who is now 90 years old, had been forced to live a painful and difficult life because she was scared, although she did describe her life as ‘alright’ in an interview.
She was scared because of ‘treatments’ of ‘cures’ and of ostracisation. How dare people make another person feel this way. It upsets and angers me to this that this country that we live in today has prohibited so many people from living their lives. Patricia’s wife was supportive and bought her pieces of jewellery and dresses to wear at home. But he question is, why should Patricia have been forced to hide away in her home? It shocks me that this is still a real concern for so many people around the world and I would love every government against trans*, every extremist against trans*, every trans*phobic individual to just take a look at themselves and consider the impact of their backward views have on individuals like Patricia who has only felt she could start her transition at 90 years old.
Trans* Day of Visibility is for people like Patricia who have been too frightened to live their lives. This day and the dedication of the trans* community have allowed individuals to be proud of their identities, to celebrate their identity and to come together as a united front.
Unfortunately, throughout history people have not had this luxury and have not been able to be their best and true self. I hope that in the future there will be changes made and there is no need for special days of celebration for the trans* community and not need for pride marches. I am hopeful that we will reach a nirvana of acceptance, respect, equality and unity amongst everyone irrespective of gender or sexual orientation.
People will simply be known as people and not as a label.
Have a look at some other inspiring stories at:
LGBT History Month – with the incredible story of Caroline Paige