Laws still a bit behindBy Ludo Foster
PHOTOGRAPH by Sharon Kilgannon, Alonglines.com
It’s changing time. Things have changed for trans people.
In my life-time I’ve seen a lot of changes from my own experience in that there was a great invisibility of the trans experience in popular culture, mainstream culture. It’s because we’ve had people like Professor Stephen Whittle, to name but one person. And in a contemporary sense we’ve got people like C N Lester, and Paris Lees, and in a global sense, people like Laverne Cox and Janet Mock: trans women, American trans women and activists. It’s slow and it’s going to take legislation, especially when it comes to the attitudes to how people are treated in a medical sense, but I think as people start to speak out and become more empowered, visibility is happening, really slowly, but it is happening.
More positive and more nuanced and diverse representations are happening, really slowly. It’s a little too slow, in a way, because you can feel, as a trans person, that you are a little ahead of your time sometimes. You can see how things could change, how things could be different, but it just doesn’t seem to be happening.
Laws are still a little bit behind. For instance there’s issues with toilets and bathrooms and passports and all kinds of legal kind of things that are really important. Being transgender is still seen as a mental health issue. One of the big changes could be how gender nonconforming children are viewed and treated and understood. There needs to be a lack of stigma and shame and an understanding as well. I’m kind of an optimist I suppose, so I am hoping that these things will happen. It’s fundamental that the most marginalised in any community need to be the most elevated and appreciated and respected. I would like to think there’d be a time when we wouldn’t need to have a Trans Day of Remembrance.
This is Ludo's testimony in Chapter Chapter Eight (Media, representations, role models, internet, research, gender theory) of the ground-breaking Brighton Trans*formed book.
To read more intimate, heart-breaking and heart-warming stories from transgender people, click here.
This page was amended on 19/12/2014