Just another personBy Luc Raesmith
PHOTOGRAPH by Sharon Kilgannon, Alonglines.com
I moved to Brighton nearly three years ago. I stated that I was moving specifically to live in a city that had its own trans community; to no longer be living in a Devon town as the only “andro in the village”.
As I see it, any trans persons can chose to live as part of the city populous as a whole and not join in with any of the existing trans groups and trans activism, and thereby not feel a sense of the trans community. Because I have chosen to attend The Clare Project – where I’m really grateful to get regular counselling, because I join in with FTM Brighton meetings from time to time, because I have become a member of the Trans Alliance and sat in on the Council’s Trans Scrutiny work, I have a tangible sense of a trans community of persons working for change and acceptance. It’s important to me to be normalising the number of trans people there are generally in the nation. Hopefully in our more free city, in our free country, the normalising and acceptance has a ripple out effect globally to the places where trans is just not tolerated.
I’m quite clear that there is not such a thing as the LGBT community – or even an LGB and T community. For me this is just a politically-convenient acronym lumping together a relatively large number of the city’s population, who may individually experience significant lesbian, gay, bi and trans communities, but whom I see as having quite separate – although intersecting or interlinking – ‘agendas’. Certainly gender and sexuality issues are quite distinctly different.
Personally, I find it easier to be out and about as just another member of the whole, homogeneous and mostly cisgendered society. Although I find it necessary to be out as a trans person – in terms of awareness and appropriate language usage. I don’t feel like a ‘token’ trans person; I’m just another person with their individual interests and foibles, etc. And I see the other so-called trans community members as being quite separate individuals, leading incredibly varied lives: some people being professionals, others unemployed being physically disabled; some people with neurobehavioural and other learning disabilities; plus students, young people growing up within families, people being parents, and so on. Trans folk too represent the breadth of general society’s experience. I would prefer it if we could all see each other more as just another person. Not a gender identity, not a sexuality identity, not a bodily ability identity, just a person.
This is Luc's testimony in Chapter One (Communities, Trans Pride, LGBTQ, differences, support) 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