A little over a year ago, the chilly fall weekend before Halloween, I made my first international solo trip. Sure, I had travelled solo within the United States many times and gone abroad a number of times with family or friends. I had even moved abroad - but I had an almost instantaneous support system thanks to my university and the nature of student life. Even with these past travel experiences, at that time even the prospect of travelling alone to a foreign country where I knew no one and didn't speak the language seemed absolutely ridiculous. I remember getting off the plane in Luxembourg City, feeling anxious about navigating the bus to the city-centre, where I would then get the train to Esh-sur-Alzette to meet my AirB&B host. What if I can't figure out how to buy a ticket? What if I miss my stop? What if the bus just doesn't show up? What if I get on the wrong train? What if my AirB&B host doesn't show? I was practically sweating I was so nervous.
I probably spent at least 80% of my waking life reading, talking, or thinking about anti-trans violence. That’s just a by-product of being in trans student in a Gender, Violence and Conflict MA. And it’s exhausting to constantly be exposed to the horrific violence that trans people face. So today, on Transgender Day of Visibility, I’m putting that part of my life aside and focusing on the wonderful aspects of being in the trans community. So here are 4 reasons* why I’m proud to be trans.
In the wake of Trump’s election and inauguration, that scaling back has felt both superfluous and necessary. After having time to process the results, part of me has been eager to get out and fight harder than I’ve ever fought before, ready to use every second of free time organising and protesting.