How ironic that in the week of Trans Day of Remembrance (TDoR), we saw some of the worst cases of transphobia.
And right out there as bold as brass on our television screens, our social media feeds, and, as always, in the largely right wing media.
The appearance of Caitlyn Marie Jenner, who transitioned very publicly some time ago, on I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of here has exposed both the puerile prejudice and outright ignorance of our nation as a whole.
If the fact that her #former name, was twitter trending as the American television personality and retired Olympic gold medal–winning decathlete, stepped into the jungle doesn’t drive home that we still live in a largely transphobic world then please take a seat.
For me, dead naming anyone who has transitioned is crass, insensitive, and I really struggle to see why some people often deliberately do this.
It is also telling, that apart from our ever trusty Pink News, much more column inches, tweets and posts, were given to Caitlyn in a bikini than were ever written about the many TDoR activities, vigils, and events that took place here in Wales, and wider.
For me, it is crucial that we mark the November 20 date annually as a day to memorialize those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia.
Founded in 1999 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a transgender woman, to memorialize the murder of Rita Hester in Allston, Massachusetts, it has slowly evolved into an international day of action.
And quite rightly so that we can draw attention to the continued violence endured by trans people worldwide
My quick internet search shows that, shockingly, at least 22 transgender or gender non-conforming people were killed by violence this year alone.
But we all know that the figure is so much higher. There’s all those non-reported deaths of course.
And you can add on the many crimes committed against our trans friends while you are at it too – everything from verbal abuse to physical attacks to damage to property.
Respect to all those who marked this day, either at vigils across the country – including at our Senedd, and other venues such as Cardiff University, or by showing solidarity on social media through posts, tweets, and blogs.
Just a shame that all this activism was completely ignored by those who could learn the most.
If I’m kind, I’d say that a lot of the Caitlyn Jenner comments are from a place of ignorance and education can play its part in changing hearts and minds
If I’m not, I’d say that many of the chatter is deliberately meant to stir up hate, bigotry and bias against our trans community.
Make no mistake, I’m not a fawning fan of Caitlyn either. I don’t necessarily agree with many of her words or deeds but this is purely from a personal point of view – not because of her gender orientation.
I also absolutely hate reality TV shows too – why the Hell you would want to watch people living their lives when you could be cracking on with your own escapes me.
Quite partial to a bit of Strictly sometimes mind I will admit – who doesn’t love the glitz, the glamour, those fabulous frocks – and a well-executed Fandango.
But generally, in my view, these shows are just car crash TV designed to demean, degrade, mock and make fun.
Never has this been so much magnified than by the hype and hysteria of the first trans female being bold enough to brave I’m a Celebrity.
Not that I’ll be watching the load of old Kangaroo testicles that it is as I have much better things to do.
Get me out of here!
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Sue Vincent-Jones, writing as Mrs SVJ, is a Barry born journalist, editor, and communications specialist. She blogs about Barry – and her life in the wider world, through the eyes of a, quirky and queer, local girl done good.
One of Wales Arts Review 100 Women Writers of Wales, the dedicated community supporter, passionate arts lover, and award-winning queer activist, will keep you “informed, entertained and inspired.”
Mrs SVJ, Barry’s Boldest Blogger, can be contacted here.