As the cold hail subsided, the Ever Lovely Mrs J shook the ice from her hood and smiled to me. “It’s good to be out in nature,” she chuckled. We had walked around the park’s lake, pausing for either doggo to sniff, or indeed, ‘update’ Dog Social Media, conversation had drifted around family, home, work, and the news.
Mrs J expressed her anger at the continued attack by some on trans identities. That and the platforming of such voices by usually reliable sources. Now, there’s a background level of hate that bubbles and spits. The usual it’s an excuse for pervs to get in or the claptrap from unqualified/inexperienced strangers, thinking that they understand a trans teen’s needs, etc. Mrs J added that in her and her friends’ experiences, dodgy men will grope or sexually harass you openly, they don’t need to disguise themselves as women to do so. I offered that having been on the receiving end of toxic male behaviour, I’d like to see the end of it as well.
Perhaps, she added, we should do something about that behaviour in the street, clubs, and workplaces, as it would make the biggest difference. But then, what would bigots reference to exclude trans people from spaces in which they’re welcome socially and legally?
With our children now teenagers, longer walks are regular and there’s no worry we’re walking the kids’ legs off – or worse – boring them. 🙂 It was always a balancing act around play parks and walks when they were younger.
That got me thinking to my experiences as a parent with a pushchair. That really opened my eyes to the accessibility issues in shops, public places, and other buildings. With Granny J’s mobility issues that also drives home the experiences for many folk who can’t get around easily.
I don’t know what it must be like to be disabled and I don’t know what it’s like to be a woman. Yet, I wonder if finding myself stuck outside a building with Granny J, walking the long way round to find a buggy friendly lift, or not behind able to find a dad & baby loo, that my eyes are a little more open than the rentagob talking heads we hear too much of.
Likewise, to walk down the street appearing female (at least at a distance), that gave me a look into a world I rarely see as a man. To find people walk in front of me, stare, and indeed talk over me. Am I a woman? No, but while trans women are women, I’m not transitioning, so my time in that world is very much as a visitor. If that’s a look into a woman’s world or, more accurately, a trans woman’s world, I’m not sure. But, in either case, I don’t have the same safety and privilege as I do as a bloke. For someone who’d like more equality, how women and other minorities are treated bothers me.
I am not subject to Everyday Sexism, but I see it (and try to challenge if I can). However the constant tide of cess that’s open discrimination of transphobia to people like me, is draining. How people of colour, disabled folk, and many women don’t lose their sh** at this constant drip feed of negativity I don’t know. Maybe they have stronger hearts or souls, or greater patience and wisdom.
When the hail receded, the sky turned from dark to blue. There are moments of blue skies from allies and in the media. Keep going, please. It makes a difference. Every story you share about thriving as someone outside the gender binary; every trans & non binary actor you platform; each person who comes forward to live as they need to be; when you challenge bigotry with your own experience (this means you, allies and parents ❤️): all of this breaks holes in the storm clouds.