“It’s time to stop, reframe and remind people of their trans joy by creating a platform for it”
BY EVA ECHO
When I came out as trans five years ago, I was saying goodbye to a lifetime of denial, fear and misery. It was finally my time to say to the world: this is me. Unfortunately, I quickly learned that the reality of being trans is a struggle. The political landscape is quite hostile to trans people – especially trans women. The mainstream media does nothing to help and as for the waiting times for a first appointment with a gender clinic … let’s not even go there. More recently, it was announced transphobic hate crime had gone up by 56% in the past year, and now there are rumours that the UK Government is looking to remove protections for trans people from the Equality Act 2010.
But I’m still here. As an activist, I’m often so focused on where the next attack is coming from that I lose sight of my personal journey. I forget how far I’ve come and the things I’ve achieved. And it’s not just me. As a community, we are resilient. Faced with so much adversity, we are all guilty of overlooking the euphoria and joy we once experienced – joy that is still there, inside of us. Well, it’s time to stop, reframe and remind people of their trans joy by creating a platform for it. Working with three other activists from Gendered Intelligence’s GIANTS programme, we came together to create Trans Joy Week to run alongside Trans Visibility Week, which culminates with Trans Day of Remembrance. As a group of volunteer activists, we want to flood Instagram with positivity and love for the trans community by inviting them, and their allies, to express their joy. Whether it’s a video talking about it, artwork, a poem or even an essay, Trans Joy Week is a chance to really focus on us as people. A positive reminder of how far we’ve come and the joy each one of us contains.
Jay Stewart, CEO at Gendered Intelligence says “Trans people are rich with imagination and creativity. Each of us are so fantastic and beautiful. As a community, trans people often talk about the need to feel safe – we need spaces that are free from discrimination and harassment. But we don’t often talk about the spaces where we feel safe to share our joy. This requires a particular form of trust and closeness. As a community we must prioritise holding space to celebrate our trans joy – to gather, laugh, natter, eat and drink. A reminder to all trans people: NO ONE CAN TAKE AWAY YOUR TRANS JOY and to everyone else: If trans people can bring their joy to you then you are most certainly honoured.”
So far, we’ve already had contributions from creators including Fox Fisher, Noella McMaher and Ben Pechey, with many more which will be shared throughout the week. We’ll also be hosting live chats with iconic members of the community. Trans Joy Week is taking place on Instagram between 14 – 19 November 2022. To join in and share your joy, upload and tag us: @CelebrateTransJoy and use the dedicated hashtag #TransJoyWeek.
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