• Tanweer Dar


It's the same each time with progress. First they ignore you, then they say you're mad, then dangerous, then there's a pause and then you can't find anyone who disagrees with you. - Tony Benn

When labour movements were agitating for an eight hour working day, factory owners were uncomfortable. When the suffragettes were agitating for women to have the right to vote, men were uncomfortable. When the civil rights movement was agitating for blacks to have equal rights, whites were uncomfortable. When gay and lesbian people were agitating for acceptance, straight people were uncomfortable.

Is it really surprising then, that when transgender people are trying to fight for their rights, those that are comfortable in their skin are uncomfortable with the change?

It is, however, horrible to watch the vitriol, the cruelty and the hatred directed at trans people. As if it wouldn't be hard enough to transition, with all of the feelings involved, with varying levels of support, or lack thereof, from family and friends, so many trans people are faced with a world in which transphobia is the norm.

Huge swathes of society still seem to consider transphobic slurs and open hostility towards trans people normal, and even more heartbreakingly, acceptable. A specific section of feminists (the transgender excluding kind) also seem to have taken it upon themselves to launch an all out war against trans people.

Trans kids, in particular, are the subject of both hatred and also discussions and decisions in which they themselves are ignored and left out.

It is understandable that people are uncomfortable with change (as illustrated at the start of this post), but that does not excuse the kind of hatred which is all too often witnessed and experienced by trans people. There have been trans people since the beginning of recorded history (do some research), just as there have been women, and people of different colour, and homosexual people. And, although there is still oppression of all of these groups today, we tend to celebrate how far we have came and the progress we have made in treating everyone fairly and with respect.

Surely transgender people are deserving of our love, kindness and respect as much as any other people?

Put yourself in the shoes of a trans person. Imagine what it must be like to grow up, to live, in a transphobic world. Don't make life unbearable for people who are simply trying to exist, to be themselves.

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