What a month November is proving to be! A record number of LGBTQIA+ people have been elected to into positions of power across the globe. Dubbed the ‘Rainbow Wave’ in the United States, 12 LGBT lawmakers were elected to congress. Many of those elected also came from minority ethnic backgrounds, another victory for frequently underrepresented communities! Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris has also shown her support to the trans community by putting profiles in her Twitter bio. She is setting a real example to other world leaders.
Whilst this news in the States was something of a shock to some, in Belgium, Petra De Sutter was appointed Deputy Prime Minister – making her the first openly trans Minister in Europe. Her gender identity was a total non-event because the press was, for once, more intrigued about her ability to do the job than her trans status. This is fantastic, this is real progress. This is a trans person finally getting to be a professional person and their authentic self, without questions.
Away from politics, Caroline Paige has spoken about becoming the first trans person to serve in the British Armed Forces. Although she’s faced a lot of backlash, she did find some allies along the way. She says “People started realising it’s not about who you are, it’s about what you can do.”. This has sparked conversation internationally about the prejudice trans people can face when seeking employment in any field. Something that we will be looking at in detail during our Why Gender Identity Matters in 2020 online conference.
After the huge success of Tour de Trans, Paeton has told us some wonderful news. British Cycling have now made it possible for riders to register as male, female, or non binary. The ability to register as non binary is a huge step forward from the organisation. It gives us hope for the future of trans inclusivity in other sports too!
Lastly in our global news roundup: Pop star and former One Direction member Harry Styles is breaking down gender norms by embracing wearing dresses. It’s caused quite a stir on social media. The star’s outlook on crumbling the lines between men’s and women’s clothing in such a public manner sheds a real light on the idea that actually you can wear whatever you want, as long as you feel comfortable and confident. As this bending of binary gender roles comes into public sight, the path taken by trans and non-binary people becomes gradually less dangerous.