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Transgender visibility and misconceptions

Transgender young people experience a lot of prejudice. Today is about challenging this and celebrating trans communities. By listening to and empowering young people to tell their stories, we can create a positive and more supportive society for all young people. Cassie, 23, tells us why Transgender Day of Visibility is important to them and how we should educate ourselves and celebrate trans people around the world.

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Introduction to Cassie

selfie of young non binary person with long black hair

I’m Cassie, a 23 year old non-binary trans person. TDOV is significant to me as it was this day four years ago when I first publicly mentioned I was trans.

Like most trans people in the UK, I’ve struggled with ignorant strangers, healthcare difficulties, and apathy at best from my government.

But I’ve also found kind and accepting people, friends and strangers alike. It’s worth remembering I’m just one voice within a whole community of diverse trans and non-binary people and I’m only writing from my experiences and opinions.

Here are three things I'd like you to know.

It's ok not to know everything

The language used around trans and non-binary people is constantly evolving, and often people with the best intentions are worried about saying the wrong thing.

It’s ok to not understand something, just remember trans people are often exhausted with having to justify their existence, so lots of questioning can sometimes come across as threatening.

Plenty of strangers have approached me and asked about what’s in my pants. As a rule of thumb, don’t ask a trans person anything more personal than you’d ask a cis person. If you want to ask a trans person something you’re not sure is appropriate, just google it. 

Trans allies

make sure you understand issues before arguing for us make sure you understand issues before arguing for us

Allies really help

Trans people make up a tiny proportion of the UK population, but more and more we’re out into the spotlight for discussion or ridicule, with our existence being seen as a matter of politics.

Trans people often get left out of discussions about ourselves, so we rely on ‘allies’ for support and advocacy. If possible try to let trans people’s voices be heard, and if not make sure you understand issues before arguing for us. 

Trans people aren't new

Many people have the misconception that trans and non-binary people are recent ‘inventions’. In fact we’ve existed across many cultures across time. Recently the language created to help us explain and understand ourselves has helped many people realise that they’re trans, and has caused an increase in the amount of people that are openly transgender.

At the end of the day trans people are just people. We aren’t the scary epidemic the media has reported, or the dangerous people pop culture often presents us as. Even if you don’t think you know any trans or gender variant people, you will have interacted with plenty without knowing how they identified.

Today is a day to let those people feel safe and seen.

Useful language for you to know