The discussions we had after coming out of the first lockdown suggested that one of two things happened for the majority of the people we support. One group had found being at home without other people and the pressure of interacting freeing. Another group had found being shut in with no interaction or with people who were not accepting of them really hard.
The interesting conversation (in my eyes) was that a big part of it for so many was about the change in pressure on how they present themselves, and how they move within the world. How their bodies were seen by others, regardless of how they felt about themselves.
“I haven’t had to wear a binder.” “I’ve got used to people not staring at me.” “going out to the shops has been the hardest thing and now I have to go out more.”
Or worse: “the one time I went out, I was shouted at on the street” (I won’t share the slur used) from one person who then went on to spend the entire lockdown indoors, feeling unsafe.
Being able to go out means many things to many people. Allies, I call on you to be the friendly face who balances out the negatives. Your smile is visible in your eyes, and it’s even better if you also say ‘morning’ as you pass on the street.
We’ve put away some of our social skills this year, I say it’s time to dust them off. Stay safe, wear your mask, keep your distance, but also be friendly.
We know that the reports we have had of hate incidents and general discomfort have been more frequent during lockdown. I ask that you take the tiny initiative of being a positive moment in the day for people you meet. Not just for the visible trans+ person you see, but for anyone who might need it.
P.s. you can support us AND show the world you’re an ally by buying a face mask here