This #TransAwarenessWeek four trans public figures have their say and give a message to allies
BY NIC CROSARA, PHOTOGRAPHS FROM L TO R: PARIS MUNRO, KI GRIFFIN, EVA ECHO (PHOTO BY TIM P. WHITBY), FOX FISHER
Every year between 13-19 November, we see in the observation of Trans Awareness Week. It’s a time when we help raise trans and non-binary visibility and address the issues the community faces.
In 2023 we’ve seen the continued attack on trans rights in the government, a rise in anti-trans hate crime and a lot of scaremongering in the mainstream media. Suffice it to say, it’s still hard and exhausting to exist in the world as a trans person right now.
It’s clear we need more than awareness. So where do we go from here, and what can our allies do to show up for the community? I spoke with these four incredible trans public figures to find out…
DIVA: While this annual observation is called Trans Awareness Week, it seems the world is very much aware of trans lives, albeit with a scary amount of misinformation. What do you think the trans community needs more than awareness?
Eva Echo (she/they): With the government actively demonising us and looking for ways to withdraw rights, we need accuracy in the media, and love. Nothing about being trans is easy. It’s exhausting. If more people realised the reality of being trans, it would make them think very differently about the one-sided narrative put out by the mainstream media. Sadly some people are too afraid to openly support the community because of how we’re portrayed by the mainstream media. It’s time people engaged their hearts. Everybody deserves love, and trans people are no different. So love us.
Ki Griffin (he/they): The trans community desperately needs allyship more than anything else right now. The amount of misinformation that mainstream media has been pushing from right-wing sources recently is terrifying and is only making it harder for those outside the community to understand the struggles that the trans and non-binary communities are facing within society right now. Without allyship from those within positions of power, whether that be socially, economically or politically, we are shouting into the void where our marginalised voices aren’t listened to.
Fox Fisher (they/he): Being a trans ally is about fostering environments that celebrate our existence rather than merely tolerating trans people. Trans people require more than fundamental rights. Awareness of trans issues is what helps an ally to be more accurate when taking action; dismantling stereotypes, and debunking bias. I want to see dynamic allyship, where individuals and organisations champion trans rights – not only during Trans Awareness Week or Pride season – but on a daily basis. Let’s have more genuine, not symbolic representation, to witness trans talent across every sector, including professional environments. Let’s create a world that doesn’t merely accept the presence of trans people, but is thrilled by it.
Paris Munro (he/they): It’s in the title… The LGBTQIA community needs to come together. Show up, be vocal with your support, and donate to LGBTQIA charities. Before you share any information double and even triple-check if it’s fact before you share any posts. Celebrate with your chosen family/loved ones and go to Prides. Let your trans and non-binary siblings know you’re there for them if they need to talk. If you don’t know what to do or say, simply say: “I’m here, and I might not know what the right thing to say is but I’m here”.
What message would you like to give to trans allies? Or aspiring trans allies?
Fox Fisher: Your relentless support at this time is essential. As you stand by our side, remember that allyship isn’t a badge, it’s a verb – an ongoing process of learning, challenging biases, and fostering inclusivity. Advocate for all trans lives, not just the conventional and conforming types. Let’s shake the status quo together, not with a whisper, but a roar, because together we are stronger. Join protests, buy books, rattle cages! Your support will have a ripple effect, so keep up the conversations; debunk myths, share accurate information, and celebrate the vibrancy of your trans and non-binary siblings. Here’s to a future where we no longer even need Trans Awareness Day. Stay fabulous, stay informed, stay supportive.
Ki Griffin: Speak up. I cannot stress this enough. Often allies worry about speaking for or over marginalised voices but in the socio-economic landscape right now, trans voices are being suppressed and we need our allies to help create space for our voices by speaking up. Even in the smallest ways, acknowledging misgendering, sharing resources from trans creators and activists, and diversifying where you get your news from. There are so many ways you can be an ally.
Paris Munro: If you stand up for us when we are not in the room… thank you! If you correct people on pronouns/names… thank you! If you stand up for people who are facing discrimination or any kind of awful comments… thank you and I appreciate that this is sometimes tough! If not… think about this… Imagine if your friend or family member was in this position, where they couldn’t have access to healthcare like you’re able to, or be accepted by society, or just exist and live their life. This is the reality for so many trans people and all we want to do is just be, just exist, live a boring life, go to work, shop, be treated equally. Your life and rights shouldn’t be up for debate, so it should be the same for trans people too!
Eva Echo: Don’t be afraid to be a decent human being. Trans people are people too, so focus on the noun – not the adjective. Be vocal and active – if someone’s spreading lies about us, call them out. If someone doesn’t speak for you, about trans issues, say something. Let them know it won’t be tolerated. It’s easy to do nothing for the sake of an easy life but doing nothing allows hate to win. Remember: the rights you enjoy today were hard-won by those you’ll never know. Time to pass it on to those that may never know you.
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