I’ve always wanted to do this. People have been telling me since before my first puberty that I’m hot stuff with words, and, ever since my egg cracked, I’ve had a burning desire to tell my story and share my observations about being trans, in the hope of empowering folks like me. So when The Clare Project offered me the chance to write for this here blog, it felt like a dream come true. But that dream spun on a sixpence into a waking nightmare the minute I got off the Zoom call and checked the news – for that was the very day that it was leaked to the press that the Supreme Court of the United States had seen fit to overturn the previous decision, commonly known as “Roe v Wade”, which had protected the reproductive rights of Americans with uteruses for nearly 50 years.
One of my inspirations for writing for this blog has been The Diatribe, a segment on the long-running podcast The Scathing Atheist. The segment consists of a monologue about a particular atheist issue, usually with a bent towards social justice. In the offering for the aforementioned fateful week, the contributor came out with a phrase that struck me. She spoke of her frustration at having spent the last decade using her platform to warn people that the sky was falling in, and that now it was her job to start clearing up the shards of broken sky lying on the ground.
I’ve been thinking about that metaphor a lot in the three months since, because, truth be known, the sky is falling in on this side of the Atlantic, too. Plans are in motion to ban gender-neutral public toilets and privatise the NHS, and the general clamour in the mainstream media is doing nothing if not cementing the UK’s international reputation as “TERF Island”. A number of trans folk I know personally or follow online have threatened to leave the country, or have already done so.
But as much as I understand the fear – and feel it too – we must not flinch. Some trans people – including myself – are unable to leave the country due to disability – and regardless, trans people have a funny old habit of being born to cis parents. The most vulnerable among us need the rest of you to resist the urge to run, and stay behind and fight. For my part, I will keep on writing. I’m a writer. That’s what I do. If you find your thing, and we all make a contribution to this shared struggle, then together, we can clean up the shards of broken sky lying on the ground. Let’s get to work.