This past week was Trans Awareness Week. On Friday it was Trans Day of Remembrance. It felt an odd week in some ways. There were many positive signs which I would not have expected. Reading Council flew the Trans flag on their flagpole for the whole week. Rochdale Council flew the Trans flag on the Day of Remembrance. Perhaps a small thing yet it seemed huge to me. I do not think that would have happened even a couple of years ago. There were several marches, not protest marches, just to be visible in cities.
There were several events raising the Trans profile. Bobbi Pickard, a transwoman, the CEO of Trans in the City closed the London Stock Exchange.
There were many allies standing up to be counted. One was Nadia Whittome, a Labour M.P “through down the gauntlet for cisgender lesbian, gay and bisexual folk to stand with their trans siblings in the fight for true liberation”. An echo of Shon Faye’s call for true liberation. A shame that it is not yet the policy of the Labour Party as a whole who still protect Rose Duffield for her gender critical views. Then again in this week when Rose Duffield was being interviewed on BBC Politics and expressing her gender critical views a commentator, Ellie Mae O Hagan was allowed to put her opposing view, empathetically without it being the usual slanging match.
Lorraine recently interviewed Dr Kathleen Stock on her programme where there was a discussion and Lorraine simply stated that she did not agree with Dr Stock, that Trans women were women and trans men were men; that Dr Stock was entitled to her position and they were entitled to disagree. Such a simple statement which included an agreement to disagree.
There was an announcement that the leading actors from Harry Potter were coming together to make a feature for Netflix. There was a wave of anger that there former words were not genuine when they went against J K Rowling. In fact J K Rowling is not part of this production. Maybe that is contrived but I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. Emma Watson is a particular friend and supporter of Paris Lees and has spoken frequently in support of Trans issues, as has Daniel Ratcliffe.
For me it was a sobering thought that more than one trans person a day has been died in the world this year. Just as I light a candle for the fallen on Remembrance Sunday, I lit a candle last Friday for the Trans people who have died.
So where are we? It seems that there is a chink of light that there is more mainstream support. I did not see the complete dumping of anti-trans material I would have expected to emerge in the Trans Week of Awareness. Maybe another small step forward. I wonder where we will be this time next year.