Trans Day of Visibility (TDOV)
Celebrate diversity and honour each other's differences this Trans Day of Visibility.
This Trans Day of Visibility our Western Sydney Recovery College Jayke shares his personal story and advocates for respect and acceptance for all individuals, regardless of their cultural background or gender identity.
This day means different things to different people. For me, it is about people like me, who are transgender, sharing and celebrating who we are. It is a choice I make every day of my life to be open about being transgender. I consider myself privileged for being transgender and believe sharing my story can benefit others.
I often wonder if I should share my qualifications or stories of other successful transgender people to demystify the stereotypes that trans people face. Instead, I prefer to celebrate trans people who while continuing to experience significant ongoing discrimination, disrespect, and assault, they still choose to value love, respect, and care for the people they love.
When people decide they must transition; it is fraught with fear, worry, anxiety, excitement, courage, and a genuine need to be authentic. Whether you are trans or not, we can all recognise this desire in ourselves to be true. When I transitioned my family was afraid, mostly that I was going to change. That didn’t happen. I simply continued to be me but with a greater level of authenticity and comfort in myself. My family and friends would say that I am “more me”, “more connected to myself”, and that nothing about me changed other than my appearance and self-confidence.
Some of the family members that I speak of are conservative or from diverse backgrounds with over 16 nationalities represented (I lost count!). There are LGBTQIA+ people, conservatives to left-wing voters, capitalists to socialists, techies to Luddites… a cacophony of differences and similarities.
I believe we don’t have to agree on religion, politics, and LGBTQIA+ rights. However, we should respect and honour each other independently of our cultural background or religious beliefs.
In my view, this is the beautiful diversity and celebration of many different cultures, viewpoints, experiences, beliefs, and choices and is what I see as a quintessential Australian experience. When we celebrate diversity in all its beauty, what we get is a better understanding of who we are as individuals, delicious food, and plenty of biodegradable glitter. Trans Day of Visibility is a reminder that trans people are asking you to respect and honour us, just as I honour and celebrate you.