Posts Tagged ‘ Trans* Rights Now ’

Ain’t Nobody Got Time For This

About two weeks ago, I put up a post on this very blog, calling someone out on homophobic behaviour. The internet went crazy. It was viewed and shared more than 2000 times within the first three days of going live, and the response was overwhelmingly supportive. My friends, family, even strangers were outraged that I had been treated so badly by people who were supposed to be my bosses. And, as a direct result of me calling these people out, I have published articles all over the place. The internet exploded when I asked it to, and the good guys won. I am so, so happy about that. Thank you, everyone, for standing up for the right thing.

A while ago, GCN was running out of funding. It put out a call to arms to the LGBT community, and asked for donations. People sent in postal orders, Cormac Cashman organised a club night, Mamma’s Place existed for a while-the support was phenomenal. So phenomenal that GCN is still a thing that you can read. That’s crazy, everyone. This is a thing that exists because our community exists, we are fuelling the fire. How inspirational is that?

 

On August 12th this year, a huge crowd of people gathered outside City Hall, and marched to Merrion Square for Gay Marriage. Now, we might not have marriage yet, but the march keeps getting bigger, and people are noticing. Statistics tell us that the majority of people want Gay Marriage to happen, and we are confident that it will. That’s because of us, guys! We got out, we marched, we yelled, we made a difference. Our community is marvellous, and we can do absolutely anything when we stand together. From protecting me when my boss is a shithead to reversing thousands of years of religious indoctrination across the country, we are capable of huge change and unbelievable force. We are pretty much unreal, you guys.

 

And it’s about time we started acting like it.

 

Now, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love that we do all the stuff I just talked about. I wouldn’t change any of that for the world. But it seems to me that we could be doing an awful lot more. We are great at getting angry when the issue affects LGB people, you can guarantee that, but what about the T? You guys, we are totally ignoring the T, and it’s time to stop.

Not long ago, I was looking at a Facebook LGBT activist group I am a member of, and someone put up a complaint they had sent in about the incredibly transphobic Meteor ad. Most people who commented underneath it also thought it was a terrible ad, and were shocked that it was on television. But also, some people had this to say:

‘Good Ad though’

‘Just my two cents, but comedy is comedy. If you put minorities in a protective bubble, I believe you are marginalising them too. Everyone is subjected to some stereotypical jokes.’

Now, bear in mind these are comments from people who identify themselves as activists, they are in a group designed for activism… and they aren’t really interested in standing up for Trans* people. Just imagine for a minute that Meteor had made an ad that specifically made fun of people who identified under the Homosexual Umbrella. I can guarantee that these comments would never have been posted under that clip.

 

This is an attitude that you can see, in varying degrees, all the way through our society, and I think it’s time we threw some of our incredible manpower behind getting rid of it. People in Ireland do not march for Trans* rights, because they don’t understand them. They see the insults thrown at Trans* people every day, and aren’t affected by them, so they shrug them off. Fuck That Noise, we can change that.

 

Imagine what would happen if straight people shrugged off our calls for marriage like that. Not even marriage, because if straight people treated LGB people the way ALL people treat the Trans* community, we’d be nowhere near marriage. We’d still be working on decriminalisation. But we can fix that.

 

This weekend, I was a volunteer at the 4th European Transgender Council, which Dublin hosted. A thing that speakers kept saying in workshops is that Trans* rights in Ireland are at least 15 years behind Gay Rights. That really stuck with me. Up hands who remember what it was like to be gay 15 years ago? I don’t, but I am pretty sure that it wasn’t great. The Employment Equality Act wasn’t until 1998, so the records back me up on that one. And that’s the kind of environment people are happy for the Trans* community to live in now? An environment where literally no aspect of their lives is safe? Fuck That Noise. We can fix that.

Another thing that happened at the conference this year was that three delegates were subjected to Transphobic assault. They were bullied and spat on. Genuine human beings were fucking spat on by people who live in our city, and what kind of outcry did it provoke? Almost none. Nobody gave a shit. We can fix that.

We are living a country where the LGBT community is so strong, so powerful, we can fuel and fund ourselves, and yet in four months time, TENI- our only national Trans* group, which provides literally ALL the services and support for Trans* people all over the country- will have no more funding, and will disappear.

Now, I don’t wanna be a dick about this, but how many gay clubs are there in Dublin now? On any given Saturday night, there is Mother, The Front Lounge, The Dragon, The George, ALT, Panti Bar, The Wilde Venue, BBC every now and again- all drawing a crowd. Clearly, we are not a community which is incapable of spending. But TENI is almost out of money. Doesn’t that seem, I don’t know, INCREDIBLY FUCKED UP to you?

This is not an organisation that is superfluous. While we are marching for marriage- a human right we think everyone should have- the Trans* community is fighting for gender recognition, otherwise known as ‘being legally recognised as the person you actually are’. That seems like a human right to me, why don’t we try marching for that, too? And while we’re at it, why don’t all you wonderful activists out there join TENI, and pay a tenner instead of a euro when you do it, because that is probably the most necessary tenner you will be spending today. Isn’t it rad to change the world?

Did you know that at the conference this weekend, we had the very first ever rally for Trans* rights in Ireland? Putting aside the fact that it is incredibly late for this to be a thing that is just starting to happen, it was a thing that was advertised all over Facebook and Twitter, and yet nobody from outside the conference came. No allies from the LGB community, no straight people who think that the government should allow people to be themselves, just Trans* people, supporting each other, because nobody else ever does.

I am mad as hell that this is the case. I am angry that all of the incredible, beautiful people I met this weekend do not get legal recognition in my country. I’m angry that the welcome they got on the one night they left the safety of the nursing building in DCU was literally a spit in the face. I’m angry that TENI has to run table quizzes and beg for money, and still not receive it, and still puts on the happiest face and organises conferences like this one, still operates groups all over the country, still saves lives. I’m angry because soon it won’t be able to anymore. I’m angry because most of you still don’t care.

Equality isn’t a thing you and pick and choose from, you guys. We either all get it, or none of us do. So please, stop leaving so many members of our community 15 years behind. This year, Dublin Pride is running a competition for a theme. Make it be Trans* Rights Are Human Rights. Make that be the theme not just of the parade, but of the year.

Donate to TENI, spread the word, get up and support your brothers and sisters. They support you.

Here’s the link: http://www.teni.ie/page.aspx?contentid=10

Advertisements