CW: This blog briefly talks about mental health, death, gender dysphoria, and transphobia.
With trans day of remembrance (TDOR) 2021 fast approaching, I’ve been inspired to share a short blog post which, as a dyslexic who can’t spell or use good grammar, is really saying a lot about my commitment. Trans day of remembrance comes round each year and provides us with an opportunity to pay our respects to those who we’ve lost in the last 12 months. For a lot of people, it’s just another tick box on a diversity calendar that is ticked by a simple post about why trans inclusion is important. TDOR has always felt important to me as part of this community however this year I will be spending the day reflecting on a person I knew.
Every now and again at Blossom, I’m told ‘I don’t think I’d be here without Blossom’ or ‘you have no idea where I’d be if it wasn’t for this group’ and a small part of me never truly considers what that may actually mean despite knowing the need for our service so personally. Before setting up Blossom I would regularly see 18-year-olds leave the safe spaces provided by a youth worker and within a few months find myself wondering where they are and imagine all the amazing things that the person may be up to. Maybe they are finding themselves at university, rocking it in that job they really wanted, or maybe even they are exploring exotic countries. Never once did I consider how harsh the true reality may be.
Last year the very sad news broke that a person I had supported as a young person had passed away and the lovely positive thoughts about what that person was up to as an adult came crashing down around me. Youth workers and the support provided by youth services is essential and so important but the truth is that the support from a youth worker can’t last forever, likewise, neither can the support Blossom offers. When people leave youth services they don’t also leave all of the struggles that come with life and it’s never really a straightforward path into becoming ‘a real adult’. The strong emotions that are caused by gender dysphoria follow you, as does the mental health and negative stigma that comes with your identity. It’s tough. It’s especially tough in a world where everyone on the internet seems to be trying to destroy you because of your identity. I’ll never know what was going on in that person’s head, it’s certainly not my business to speculate, but I do know that I never want another trans person to experience the negativity that TDOR often leads us to acknowledge.
Just like the hard thoughts and negativity, I’m also aware that the amazingly positive things that we are capable of also follow us. The coping mechanisms provided by youth workers, the amazing learned skills, and all of the happy memories. TDOR has the potential to be hard because we focus on awful things that happen to trans people, the truth be told, that’s still important but not allowing the negativity and sadness to erase our fantastic memories of these people is equally as important. Trans people are achievers and we do it bloody well. This year I’m simply asking you to spend this time genuinely reflecting. Take the day to reflect on the amazing people who are no longer with us and reflect on the fantastic things that they contributed to this world in their short time as well as any other emotions or topics that may come up. Then… consider the next day your call for action.
As a community we are strong and once we’ve reflected, we can fight. Fight for our rights, for our loved ones, for every single trans young person who should only be growing up in a world that does nothing but love and support them. We also need to be there for each other. If my amazing team at Blossom had anything to do with it, the list of names on TDOR would never grow again. We can’t reverse the damage that has been and will be done to our community but with that, we also cannot deny the resilience, power, and strength our community is also empowered with.
Anyone can spark change and this year I’m asking for it to be you.
Do this in whichever way you can and want.
What Support Can I Access from Blossom This TDOR?
For people 18 plus we are running a special drop-in! We believe that TDoR (Trans day of remembrance) can be really tough and sometimes triggering to our community. It’s a difficult day for so many people, especially people who are trans, so we have collaborated with our friends at T&Coffee – Trans Network to create an alcohol free space for you to unwind the day after tdor2021 – 21/11 – 11am – Tesco – The Meadows – Sandhurst (nr Camberley). Check out more info by visiting TnCoffeeLGBT.com/event-calendar
You can also access our list of Trans friendly support by clicking here.
We also run our weekly social group, you can find out more here.