At T&Coffee we try to do what we can to promote and further the rights of Trans & Gender Diverse people but, Equality doesn't start and finish with our community...
Whilst there are some clear and obvious issues facing the Trans community, the wider LGBTQ+ community still needs our support. There is disproportionate level of hate crime, discrimination and prejudice towards those of us with gender variance or non-hetrosexual identity but, event that isn't the limit of the inequality we should all be standing up against!
Discrimination and inequality is entrenched in so many people experiences of society that it's time we made it crystal clear. Equality Is For All - Not Just For Some!
We are very lucky in our community to have some incredible voices and figureheads on our side but, what can - or should we be doing to stand up to the different layers of inequality in the world today. Be it discrimination on the grounds of Race, Beliefs, Gender, Disability, Sexuality, Relationship Status, Wealth or Age we should not allow it to happen. We fly our own flags, our banners and march our way through the streets for our own rights but, building an equal, diverse and inclusive society requires more than isolated pockets of support.
I am often asked "as a Trans ally, what can I do to help?" when really, we need to look at all discrimination. The truth is that some the answers are the same. So what can you do to stand up for equality for all?
Call It Out!
I'm a firm believer that if you allow discrimination to go unchallenged, you might as well be part of the problem. No, you don't have to take up proverbial arms every time an idiotic person says something stupid but, if I witness "casual discrimination" I will call it out. Be that the inconsiderate use of personally offensive language, things like dead naming (using a trans persons previous name) or even seeing a lack of accessibility at an event, I think it's perfectly right to mention or challenge it.
Get Smart (Not Aggressive)
We don't want to put ourselves in real danger so, don't go out looking for a fight or taking a strongly aggressive stance. The key is to get smarter. Educate yourself on the issues in not just your own communities but, in the places you see this discrimination. Know the right language to use, don't pick fights with people who are clearly never going to change their minds and be a voice of well versed reason in a robbing crowd of unfounded discrimination. The things have learned in the last few years of my life have shown me how far these problems go for so many people. The sad truth is, most people go though life blissfully unaware of the depth of the problem. Help people to learn so they can understand a real perspective.
Report It (Within Reason)
No, I'm not going to report a hate crime every time an old friend (or a random person in the street) mistakenly uses the wrong pronouns but, if you really feel that what you are seeing is flat out discrimination, you can report it.
It might be that you see it a persons workplace, so you can convey it to their management. It might be in something you read or watch, you can report it to the producers or above. It could even be a violent attack, in which case you might want to take it to the police. The key here is proportionate reporting. We can all sit behind keyboard on social media and have a rant but, sometimes there is call to inform the right people.
Be An Ally (Don't Just Say It)
I'm forever seeing people who love to jump on board with a trend. Sharing their love of Pride or similar, when in the next breath they are liking or commenting on media that is discriminating against the very community they claim to support.
This isn't a one hit deal, it's a full time attitude. You can't be an ally simply when it suits your own needs. Thats called appropriation and guess what, you're still part of the problem...
There is no excuse for discrimination, whatever form it takes. All people must be free in society to live their lives equally, regardless of their personal circumstance. Equality can only exist without barriers. There are no exceptions to this!
In short, if you want to stand up for rights, stand up for human rights. Don't let yourself get stuck in your own little echo chamber of truth break out and spread that passion for true equality for all. We can all play a part here if we learn about the issues, call out the hate and take the time to offer meaningful support and friendship to those who are in need of it.
The first page we wrote on our new website was a Equality, Diversity & Inclusion policy which we stand by for everyone. Not Just For Some!