Three things to note on the Transgender Day of Visibility

Today is the annual Transgender Day of Visibility, a day when we are asked to take the time to learn and understand about transgender people’s lived experiences, where we celebrate our transgender and non binary friends and think about what we can do over the next year to make their lives easier.

If you just take a look at the #TDOV hashtag on Twitter, there is so much you can learn from people sharing their experiences. I want to point out just three of the day’s highlights.

Two of them involve Liberal Democrats. First is the amazing Maria Munir. It’s almost a year since they came out as non binary to President Obama, a year in which they have done so much to raise the profile of non binary people and work for greater understanding and acceptance. Today they were on LBC talking about HSBC’s decision to introduce ten gender neutral titles. Stuart, who leads HSBC’s Pride network explains how difficult it was for him when he transitioned.

If you are looking for resources to help you understand about the lived experience of transgender people and the issues they face, the Scottish Trans Alliance has some really good suggestions

I have a confession to make. Last year on Transgender Day of Visibility, I bought the book Transgender Warriors that it suggested. This year, I swear I’ll actually read it and review it on here.

Transgender Warriors is 20 years old now. It’s about time someone produced a book that brings us a variety of experiences of trans people in 21st century Britain, don’t you think? Funny we should think that, because there is one – but its authors need some help to get the project off the ground so they’re using a crowdfunding publisher, Unbound. Pride, not Prejudice is a collection of 21 essays. It’s edited by Helen Belcher, who has written for us several times on LDV. Last year she talked about why she had joined the Party just after the 2015 election. She’s been a fantastic addition to our ranks and is now PPC for Chippenham. I first met her when she gave a compelling speech in the Electing Diverse MPs debate at the 2016 Spring Conference. She wrote about that issue here.

So what is the Pride not Prejudice project all about?

With increasing misinformation in the media about transgender and non-binary issues, there has never been a more vital important time to hear from trans and non-binary people in their own words.

In this ground-breaking anthology, Helen Belcher curates 21 essays from people who are re-defining the way we see and think about gender.

Pride, Not Prejudice – the first book of its kind – brings together the works of trans and non-binary people from a wide range of backgrounds within the UK, as they share their real experiences, stories and expertise on what it means to not succumb to the socially-constructed gender binary. But it’s more than just coming out and transitioning stories. The varied essays will highlight the fact that that there isn’t just one way to be a trans or non-binary person.

I have made a small contribution to help get this book off the ground. Find out more, including a video from Helen, here.

I think our job as liberals is to make a world that’s inclusive and celebrates diversity so that everyone can go about their lives without having to deal with hostility, discrimination or worse. Maria and Helen do so much to make that happen. Their work will make it easier for the next generation. Thanks to both of them.


* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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