Read this article written by your LGBTQ+ Chair, Kona Park, on the occasion of Trans Awareness Week (13th to 19th November).
Transgender \ Adjective \ Describing or relating to people whose gender identity does not match the sex they were said to have at birth.
Being a trans student in university, no matter when you’ve come out (if you have at all) can be challenging, scary, a battle between you and the ignorance of some people’s minds. This is why many universities, not just our own give recognition to those who identify as trans. This is what the trans awareness week is about. Not just celebrating our trans brothers, sisters, and siblings, but appreciating the hardships they have gone through and the journey they have travelled to get to where they are now.
Some of the issues trans students face, happen on nearly a daily occurrence. I asked a few of my friends, and fellow classmates what issues they have faced. A resounding answer was the issue of a single word, their name. without a government deed poll name change, the university will not allow a preferred name to be printed on either an ID card or be put on the register. This resulted in people having their birthname said in front of an entire class, in front of their friends. Though for some this may not seem like a big issue, this alone can cause their entire day to cascade, filling them dysphoria and making them feel unseen or for some, too seen. This alone essentially outs them, not everyone wants to be seen as “that trans person”, I believe a majority of trans people want to just be seen and appreciated as who they identify as.
Given the current political and media climate of the world, publicly saying “I am transgender” has sadly become dangerous in various places. Not being able to say these words and express who you are in the way you want, strips people of their pride in being who they are. This is the exact reason why the trans awareness week, which leads to the trans day of remembrance is so vital. Showing our love, our support and our unwavering loyalty to our trans colleagues, friends, classmates, brothers, sisters, siblings, parents, children and partners.
I happily end this article in saying: we love you, we see you, we support you and we are proud of you.
Kona Park, LGBTQ+ Chair