We have always existed

Yes, this is another post about the world outside of fiction. Because it’s pride month, and because a certain author has apparently decided that makes it the perfect time to use her platform to take a swing at me and mine.

So. I am transgender. Specifically, I am a transmasc butch (which means to the general populace I’m a trans man, because attempting to explain the nuances of identity is not a thing I particularly want to do when I’m trying to buy a pint of milk or pay for a train ticket). I suspect if you’re reading this you already knew that, but if you didn’t – hey, now you do.

Trans people have existed as long as people have existed – in some cultures, we were and are revered for our liminal status, whereas in others we were and are viewed negatively (because humans have a nasty habit of hating things they don’t understand), but we’ve always been here and we’re always going to be here. We don’t disappear just because people happen to dislike us, and we don’t take away other peoples’ rights just by wanting to be recognised as who we are.

If you’re cis and you want to do something concrete to help, I’ve a couple of suggestions for you.

First off, use your cis-ness. You can get away with calling transphobia out where we can’t, and, unfortunately, people’re more likely to listen to you than they are us. Ask why that joke’s supposed to be funny. Ask why your company can’t use more inclusive phrasing, or why your school/workplace has gendered uniforms. You’re our allies on the inside, and you can do a whole lot of good from there.

Second, if you’ve got the money spare, donate! There’re plenty of places which do good work all around the world, and I can’t link all of them, but here’re three from the UK to get you started:

And third and finally, don’t get caught in a guilt spiral about being cis. That helps nobody, least of all you, and it’s a bad road to walk down.

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