Transgender heroes in LGBTQ+ History
Transgender people have been heroes in LGBTQ+ history, and vital in the progress of LGBTQ+ rights today.
As the LGB communities have progressed toward better inclusion and acceptance, trans people have often been left behind. In 2014, England, Wales and Scotland gained marriage equality, with Ireland following the next year. Unfortunately, the lack of legal recognition for non-binary people means they still cannot get married without identifying themselves as a man or a woman.
Civil partnerships are not available for different-gender couples, which means if someone is civil partnered and chooses to transition, they have to break the partnership. Someone who is married is able to transition, but there is a ‘spousal veto’ - the trans person’s partner can say that they don’t wish their gender to be legally recognised, and the marriage continues as it was. In the U.S, trans people are banned from serving in the military.
In many countries, support and care for trans people with HIV is inadequate. Trans women are at particular risk of contracting HIV, yet they are often disrespected and even denied services by government clinics.
Trans people also face the unique burden of being asked to confirm that the intend to live as their gender until death - while all LGBTQ+ people face certain pressures to have a consistent sexuality or identity, trans people cannot legally have their gender recognised without committing to one gender for the rest of their life. This oversimplifies the possible complexities and fluidity of some people’s gender identities.
These are just some of the ways in which our transgender siblings are discriminated against in 2019. Trans people have been at the forefront of a lot of the change that has positively affected the whole LGBTQ+ community, and it is time for all LGB people to step up and offer the same solidarity.
f you are trans and you need support, you can contact Mermaids helpline, find a support group through Trans Unite, or get in touch with Gendered Intelligence. If you’re a Farnham student, we also have a Trans and Trans Ally Society which meets on at 2:00pm on Wednesdays, the 2nd and 4th week of each month in JL01A. Or, we have LGBTQ+ student groups on all of our campuses - just get in touch with Riley Clowes on Facebook to find out more.