A common theme in my writing is the harassment I get on the street and through other experiences in my day-to-day life. I’ve never sugarcoated or been shy of talking about it. I hoped that doing this would help to improve things. I hoped it would make people think about their actions. But who am I kidding? None of those people are reading my writing.
This harassment has always come in waves. At different points in the year (sunny days, occasions for a lot of drinking) the harassment will get worse. At other points in the year, my days are relatively untouched by dickheads. But I’ve noticed something lately.
It’s getting worse. I can’t put my finger on it. Perhaps it’s the increase in shitty thoughts being published in the media. Articles questioning whether I really exist or whether I’m sick. Articles painting me to be dangerous to society. Articles making me a joke. The sad man in the dress. The freak who must be scared back into hiding. Was the world a better place before people were comfortable in their skin? There seems to be a large group of people who believe that’s the case.
It’s not in my nature to be so bleak. Usually I’ll talk about harassment in a way which implies that I’m strong enough to handle it. I’ve always shyed away from the victim label, preferring to present myself as a survivor. But this is too much. This increase in harassment is scary and I find myself wondering whether I’ll be writing about an incident where I was a target of violence in the coming weeks.
But you can help me. You’re the ones who read my writing and watch my videos. Young people, parents, the odd grandparent, people with something of a platform and people with fifteen friends on Facebook. All of you can help me.
It’s no longer enough for you to read about my struggles, sympathise and close the tab. There is a war on transgender people in the UK media and I suspect the Irish media won’t be far behind. I’ve done a lot of work to influence the way people see trans citizens. But you guys need to come in behind me.
Sit down with your grandparents and tell them about trans people. Show them some of my videos, or videos documenting the lives of numerous other trans people. Share my poem about harassment on your social media accounts. Share this post on your social media accounts. Talk to your teenage siblings or children. Show them that I’m a human being, living my life and that laughing at me on the street is a really ugly thing to do. Talk to your conservative father and see if you can even make him consider the fact that I should exist.
It may be tough, but think about it. You’re begging people to believe that I have a right to exist, something I have to do on a regular basis. Yes, it’s shitty. Yes, it’s difficult. Yes, the resistance will make you want to bury your head in the sand, but I don’t have the luxury of doing that. Asking for help is not in my nature. I hate that I have to do this. But I’m scared and upset and tired of being dehumanised. There is a group out there who believe that I’m disgusting, a freak of nature. I know my readers don’t believe that about me. Please do what you can to change the minds of those who do.
The person shouting tranny at me from across the street could be your little brother. The person standing in my path to try and intimidate me could be your friend. The person nudging his pal in the pub and loudly asking him would he fuck me could be your father. That’s an upsetting thought, but that’s reality.
This conversation needs to be had. This is the furthest thing from self-promotion, because I hate having to do this. I wish I could just keep talking about my sex-life and my family and my wild nights. But the harassment in my life is really beginning to wear me down. I appreciate anything that anyone can do to alleviate that more than you will ever know.
Read about an incident of harassment here.