Yesterday was of course the International Transgender Day of Visibility, which I think is rather a good idea because it celebrates beings trans in a very positive way, and not, as the Transgender Day of Remembrance does, sombrely mark the reported murders of trans people across the world - an annual slaughter that tends to upset and depress, each death not only being a tragedy in itself, but a setback for everyone. This newer March event balances the older, and offers an opportunity to be hopeful - a counterbalance to the necessary, but downbeat November event. And both are now International.
This said, I'd never heard of the International Transgender Day of Visibility until two days ago. Which reveals how out of touch I'm getting with the mainstream of trans life! It's flowing on away from me, who knows wither, carrying rafts full of trans people who seek a better tomorrow. But I've left that river, and have struck out inland to explore my own chosen terra incognita. And for that different kind of adventure, the presentation and behaviour needs to be geared to the conditions I'm actually facing. In other words, I will give a private cheer for the campaigners, and watch their progress with pleasure, but I've withdrawn from any kind of public flag-waving. I will make my way to Trans Pride in Brighton this summer, but only to show low-key support, and to say hello.
Somebody suggested to me yesterday evening that it might be important for people like me to be a bright beacon of hope and success for early-stage transitioners. Well, I do see that. At the same time, there are so many persons who are putting real talent, their own creative talent, at the service of the trans cause. Like my friend Alice. And her friends, who make videos and write things. And they do it well. I don't think they need anything from me beyond what the blog can do.
I think it better and more appropriate for me to be visible in other ways. More general things. Visible as an ambassador for Britain if I go abroad. Visible and active as a Senior Citizen. Visible as a woman, who cares about equal respect and opportunities for all women. Visible as a defender of history and culture and learning, and such things as truth and understanding, wanting to be internationalist rather than isolationist, and inclusive of everyone.
I was, in fact, dressed in an eye-catching way yesterday. It was a bright but very breezy day, and a snug outer garment was called for. I did the obvious thing, and wore my new multicoloured hand-knitted Nepalese jacket. Here it is again (sorry for the posing):
There's no denying that this is a high-visibility jacket/cardigan/woollie/whatever you want to call it! It most definitely is a lively splash of colour in the landscape. And yet, not a garment that the average trans person would wear. It's got bits of pink in it, and blue; but on the whole it's a medley of colour that doesn't signify anything 'trans'. It's what a colour-loving ordinary woman would wear, if she didn't mind standing out in the drab crowd, and attracting the odd comment from other women (which have been entirely complimentary so far) .
I can't make any claim that wearing this yesterday in any way supported the International Day of Transgender Visibility! To do that, I'd have to wear something more subtle, based on these colours:
Oh well. The thought was there.