It’s Transgender Awareness Week, a week dedicated to helping raise the visibility of transgender and gender non-conforming people, and address the issues the community faces. Transgender Day of Remembrance is an annual observance on November 20th that honors the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. In recent weeks, news broke that the current administration intends to endanger, invisibilize, and dehumanize the lives of millions of people who are trans, nonbinary, genderqueer, intersex, and gender non-conforming.
Be Nourished stands in solidarity with people of all genders. To all trans, intersex, and gender non-conforming people in our community, we see you, we’re here for you, and we are fighting with you. One of the ways we fight erasure is through visibility. We believe in centering, celebrating, and uplifting the experiences, voices, art, and bodies of people with marginalized identities. We wanted to share a roundup of trans and gender non-conforming folks whose work we love and are grateful for. We hope you enjoy these pieces. If their work speaks to you, consider following and uplifting their work and the work of other trans folks.
Earlier this month, Broadly published a listicle called 100 Easy Ways to Make the World Better for Trans People. It’s a great primer for ways that cis allies can be of help to the trans and gender non-conforming people in their lives. Here are the first three…
“1. Respect people’s pronouns. This is really not very complicated! If someone tells you how they identify, you have no say on the matter. Use the pronouns they use.
2. Still on pronouns: if you don’t know somebody’s pronouns and want to get it right, either use gender neutral pronouns (i.e. they/them/their) or quietly and discreetly speak to the person and ask. Be aware of your surroundings and those around you before doing so—do not out this person or put them in an unsafe situation.
3. Trans folk can use gender neutral pronouns, so please do not assume that we must adhere to a binary.” Read more…
The Instagram account run by Trans Folx Fighting Eating Disorders curates great images and words in support of Trans, Nonbinary, & Genderqueer people, including this beautiful piece by artist Tani Ikeda.
Andrea Gibson is a poet, performer, and activist, and much of their work centers around issues of gender and sexuality. Their poetry is powerful, visceral, and incredibly moving. “Your Life” is an exploration of their own gender identity evolution. It illustrates the journey of what it means to choose a hard life grounded in authenticity to oneself and one’s gender expression. We hope you enjoy this beautiful video they made to go with the poem. Here’s an excerpt:
“Your life every time, airport security screams “pink or blue, pink or blue,” trying to figure out what machine setting to run you through choosing your life and how that made you into
someone often finds it easy to explain your gender by saying you are happiest on the road when you’re not here or there, but in between.
That yellow line running down the center of it all like a goddamn sunbeam.
Your name is not a song you will sing under your breath.
Your pronouns haven’t even invented yet.”
“I think trans people are leading the way for everyone once again. I think we’ve been taught to fear the very things that have the potential to set us free. And so when we see trans people living freely, saying “I don’t care about society’s norms, I don’t care about gender norms, I just wanna be me,” people are threatened by that because they’ve had to repress their own true self. And so for me, the history of the LGBTQ community is we’re not just doing this for ourselves, we’re doing this for everyone.”
Decolonizing Fitness, is an Instagram account run by Ilya, a non binary transmasculine person of color who shares spot-on wisdom and social justice analysis centered around (but not limited to) the intersections of gender, race, body size, and fitness in a capitalist, patriarchal culture. In their words, “Decolonizing Fitness was birthed from the need for queer, trans, non binary, chronically ill and disabled folks to have better access to affirming and supportive health/wellness/fitness services.”
We learned so much from this episode of Food Psych Podcast on Disordered Eating and Gender Identity with Psychologist and trans-health educator Sand Chang. In the episode, Christy Harrison and Dr. Chang have a robust discussion about, among other things:
- The limitations of the current DSM mental-health diagnoses for eating disorders and for the trans experience
- The complex experience of body acceptance for trans folks
- The intersections of trans advocacy and anti-diet, Health at Every Size work
- Why gender-affirming surgery isn’t a cosmetic surgery and why it saves lives
- Sand’s experience finding their way back to inclusive eating disorder work
- The need for the HAES movement and eating disorder work to become more intersectional and move away from the gender binary
It is our deepest hope that all people are able to come to a place of finding trust in themselves and their bodies on their own terms and live from their own deepest knowing of self. It is our deepest hope that people in all bodies, come to know and feel their belonging in a world that punishes us for our differences. It is our deepest hope that all of us as individuals and as a society learn to look beyond the binary, beyond the confines of life prescribed by assigned sex at birth, beyond oppressive gender roles, and pre-packaged gender expressions. It is our deepest hope that we all work to explore our biases and privileges, to unpack our programming and work together toward collective liberation for all people in all bodies.
In solidarity and healing,