Writing in it’s purest motivation for me is cathartic. I love writing about the world, the ways in which I slot into it, and the ways in which I don’t. Both for catartic reasoning, and also for education. As a non-binary person, I see the world without gender restrictions, and flow through as a genderless person, striving for excellence, and thriving in my own world. However, some people don’t share this level of awareness resulting in public prejudice and violence, occurring every single day. But how can we combat this?
Femme representation and presentation within the world is something that has always been seen as wrong or subject to persecution. Misogyny attacks us, and for me, is intertwined with my trans identity, creating trans-misogyny, soemthing that is not discussed enough, and something that is, in some eyes, seen as a myth.
But me, and millions of other people who experience it can tell you it certainly is not. Living and thriving as a femme presenting non-binary person is an act of defiance, disobedience, and political challenge every single day, and we need to talk about the problems we face more, and conclude that although they start a conversation, the experiences we live through are not up for discussion.
I am personally looking for work now as a Fashion Management and Marketing graduate, and everyday situations such as applying for jobs can be difficult. Discrimination in the workplace is increasingly higher for trans and LGBTQIA+ people, due to workplace restrictions on gender, and non-inclusive environments.
Amazing groups such as Stonewall UK actively campaign to change this, which is a great way to challenge these problems in the public and private sectors. They have created a platform called Proud Employers, which actively seek workers for LGBTQIA+ friendly organisations, and allow us to feel safe when we are at work.
This is a great step forward for us to feel safe at work, and to feel like we have the same opportunities as everybody else.
In terms of more social issues, we want to be able to thrive and flourish in mutually beneficial relationships, but again hurdles appear that can make that difficult. Fetishism and sexual harrassment are sadly part of everyday life for many trans/non-binary people, as one of the first ways that people interact with us is through porn. Positive sex work and porn is an amazing thing for our community, however mainstream channels exploit our stories and our lives in a way that has a real impact on our day to day lives.
Throughout my social channels and especially Instagram stories I share the ways in which, predominantly men, objectify and sexualise my body in public. Speaking about it and sharing lived experience for me is a great way to be able to explore that with people who may not be aware, and highlight these issues for a broader audience.
Fashion is a great way for many trans/non-binary and LGBTQIA+ people in general to express their gender identity, and is a real pillar of strength for us. Fashion was one of the first ways I expressed my gender identity in person, and it really is under-estimated as a tool in society. Our clothes are more than just a choice, and are an outlet for artistry, freedom and love, and I for one would love to see more change within the fashion industry in retail spaces and online, to make this a safer space for us to shop in, as we already face problems.
For example, trans/non-binary activist Travis Alabanza was refused entry into the female changing rooms due to their binary attitude to this space, leaving them hurt and unable to utilise the facilities because of the prejudiced systems that one of the worlds biggest fashion retailers still enforces.
(Image Credit: Poppy Marriott)
I don’t want to sit here and discuss the ways in which non-binary femme presenting people solely struggle, because we have so much love, adoration and inclusion from within our own communities that is an amazing centre for support.
But it is important to highlight the struggles and differences in our lives and our lived experiences, so we can educate more people, and begin to change attitudes in public.
If you see us on the streets and think we are feeling unsafe or victimised, come over and help us! We are strong and we are resillient but human love and support in public is a real aid to our lives, as in public spaces it can feel like we are on our own sometimes.
We are here and we have been here for decades, and we just want to feel loved, safe and protected in the world, so lets work together to make that happen.