International Transgender Day of Visibility takes place on 31st March. I use the day to listen and learn from trans people. It was a privilege speaking to artist, filmmaker and author Fox Fisher.
I began by asking Fox why International Transgender Day of Visibility is so important in 2022?
Although positive representation of trans people has increased in film, print and online media, we are in the midst of a moral panic in the UK. Trans people are still the butt of jokes, unfairly vilified and often information about trans people comes from cis people, to a cis audience. Trans people come out at all ages and it’s important to have a day in which we can see trans people not just existing but also thriving.
Can you tell us about some of the challenges facing trans people in the UK today?
There’s also a lot of annoying things that go with being trans, including name changes, paperwork, the expense of clothing, hormones and surgeries, the risk of losing everyone around you just to be who you are and experiencing prejudice from strangers and those in our life.
Which trans people inspire you?
There are so many incredible trans people doing great work. Campbell X is a prolific film-maker. Travis Alabanza is a well respected writer and performer who recently supported Jonathan Van Ness on tour. Keep a look out for Dan Chan, a performance artist who I’ve been mentoring for the past 12 months through a scheme with Homotopia, where I was Artist in Residence. Other trans movers include Freddie Lewis and Campbell King, both creating music. I love it when people with larger platforms support trans rights, like supermodel Munroe Bergdorf, actor Elliot Page and model Chella Man. It’s so important for young trans people to see examples of being trans and thriving.
Do you have a message for International Transgender Day of Visibility?
Don’t wait to be happy, but do come out when you feel safe to do so. Being out helps cis people to recognise that trans people exist everywhere, in families, friend circles and workspaces. For those wishing to come out, do what’s right for you, and be gentle with yourself. Little steps in the right direction helps on a day-to-day basis. Transition can be massively rewarding, and open up a whole new life for yourself, and a comfort in your own skin that you never thought possible. If you know a trans person and want to help, perhaps ask them how you can assist them. This could be accompanying them to appointments, asking them how certain events went, celebrating milestones, sharing crowdfunders and tackling everyday transphobia.