Steph's Place

18th July - Being Trans or Non-binary means being in hiding for most.

By co-founder Nicola

As the Tory government tears itself apart in the fight that will become the squabble for the next leader and Prime Minister, the aspect that will be a focus of the ‘debate’ is Women. The pointed question of “what is a women?” posed by broadcasters as provocation towards a stance on trans rights.

The question is never what is a man? 

It seems that from the remaining candidates, most, if not ALL, are running on an anti-trans platform. Some are openly hostile towards trans women in terms of policy and rhetoric, while others are quieter but still not pushing for improvement in trans rights.

The biggest issue of these is the Conversion Therapy ban and the ‘Trans exemption’. It would seem, on the basis of the candidates thus far, and by implication, a future cabinet will be trans hostile and would not push for a trans CT ban. That WILL have to be up to parliament and the MPs to vote that down. That is a worrying prospect. 

That is irrespective of issues surrounding Sport GRA reform and Single Sex Spaces. ALL of those will, at some point, become pointed leading questions towards candidates from a trans hostile media looking to score points. Either, to get candidates on side or catch them out to ‘separate them from the herd’.

Trans people will be collateral damage in this battle, and that isn’t going to be comfortable. Especially as we celebrate pride and trans pride and can see the overwhelming support we have as a minority from the generally population. Hatred seems to live and fester in the corridors of power and the editorial and journalistic elite. It’s an incestuous rat-infested pit of hatred that panders to its GC paymasters and the apparent appetite for it amongst the tory membership.

All of this leads me to why being trans, Nonbinary or Gender fluid isn’t easy for many people.

The Who Do You Think You Are programme should have a spin-off as a Non-Binary programme allowing people to discover their own true selves.

To know that takes time, a long time. However, most of that time is because of hiding, a lot of hiding. Hiding is what we are good at, its an art, and necessity and an imposition. It’s a thing that creates tears, anguish and heartache in most, and, for some, hiding means to end it all.

Maybe the world is slowly changing for the better, but the need to hide is required more and more, and sadly, very sadly, from people who should know better. 

The rise of the internet, connections and links has allowed the trans, GF and non-binary communities to come together and support each other. It has also allowed the haters to gather and create hate groups set to destroy anything they can’t, or chose not to, understand. Anything that departs from the norm of what THEY call society. 

The slinging of mud from the safety, and often immunity, of the keyboard rather than the vision of being in person contact, has allowed a rise in hatred, phobia and derision from many more quarters than was perhaps previously the case. Do the haters and the ‘phobics’ feel threatened? Maybe, but from what? Normality?

In the end, we are all people, just HUMAN people. We ALL need to get along. Some love to get along but a seemingly growing band don’t, and seek conflict, hate, division and scorn for their own self-publicity, misguided norms or as an attack against difference.

Difference is the new normal, Difference has always been the new normal. Get used to it, things are different now, they have always changed and, unsurprisingly, always will.

Freedom of expression isn’t a threat to society, its makes society a different society. Anger, hate and threats cause anguish, mental illness and suicide. 

So why hide, why do those who don’t conform need to hide? Because the apparent anger, threats, hatred and humiliation of some, cause that hiding. It prevents people from being their own true selves. For those that push beyond the barriers of confinement, they still have to cope with derision and hatred. Oh, “It’s only a joke!” or “I’m only having a laugh”, “It’s just Banter”, don’t cut it when the anger and phobic hatred is directed openly and very personally at one or more people.

Being Non-binary ISN’T a choice, it's not a lifestyle, it’s genetic and that is an end to it. In the same way, being Binary isn’t, guess what? Not a choice.

The path of discovery of being non-binary is different for everyone. As society is peppered with the horrible and uncaring, for those who feel they don’t fit mainly hide. We hide from parents; we hide from friends and peers at all levels of education. Why? Cold blooded fear. Fear of being wrong, fear of being told you are wrong, fear of being made fun of, fear of what other people might think, fear of being humiliated, fear of knowing others will humiliate you. It doesn’t matter if it’s the school playground, home or the workplace, there are those who will hurt, and they are the fear far more than those who will care and support. 

That fear means hiding, for most. That hiding creates fear, it drives happiness underground, it prevents people from fulfilling their own potential. To spend one’s life looking ahead and over one’s shoulder to avoid haters, bullies, phobics and derision is both tiresome and tiring. It is mentally exhausting, day after day and many cannot cope and end everything. Because of fear and hate.

That fear of being ‘found out’ is all-consuming. For those who might want to tell or be ‘found out’ there is the fear of what that may lead to.

Hiding when young causes bad decision-making, all from fear. “Its just a phase” “They will grow out of it” etc. No. it isn’t, it real, its real life just like ‘normal’ real life, but in hiding.

By hiding it young, means suppression. That causes mental health issues. Eventually, it WILL come to the surface, we will get ‘found out’ or ‘come out’. Even if a ‘coming out’ is planned, it is exhausting tiring and full of dread and fear. Why? because the later it is, the longer the period of hiding, the more concrete life decisions have become and the more people who will be affected by the decision not to hide.

Co-workers, spouses long term friends, clients, contacts, family members all have to change how they see that person. Most will accept, but some will not. That leads to anguish, fear and concern. All because of the fear from the need to hide from fearmongers, haters and phobics.

High profile haters are worst. Those who spout hate for a living whether paid or unpaid, unaware (or ignorant by choice) of the damage they are doing. The cause of more anguish and fear. The cause of more and deeper hiding, the cause of prevention of those in hiding from appearing. The cause of suicide.

Having a belief or opinion is not an issue but forcing it upon others and preventing people from legally being themselves must be. Hating people simply for being themselves and different is abominable.

Social media loves haters for some reason, but that causes others to hide, and stay hidden. This is a bad thing.

Freedom of speech is good, but freedom to hate is not. Until this changes, we hide.

Taking the current leadership race into consideration, hiding will be going on a lot longer for many, many people. Only a change of government and a MUCH more open debate and policy presentation will make any of this better.  If hatred isn’t squashed, it grows. That’s where we are now. 

<< Previous    Next >>

<< Go back to list



Love and let live