Hearing the Voices: Episode 1 – Transgender

In the first episode of this new format, I interviewed two women from the transgender community. Five questions – five answers. (The interview was conducted via chat)

Flag of the Transgender-Community

Interview Nr. 1

Name: Nikki
Age: Mid-20s
Nationality: Swiss

Interviewer: When have you noticed that your gender identity didn’t align with existing conditions?

Nikki: „I noticed pretty early in my puberty that something wasnt quite right. I always was drawn towards feminin clothing. As opposed to male clothing. That’s the most concrete example I have in mind. However, I didnt know trans was a thing until I was 20.“

Interviewer: I see. After finding out about transgender, how did it shape your social environment?

Nikki: „Not by much tbh… I am really open about my gender. Nor do I present myself as femme. I feel more uneasy about getting dead named or misgendered tho.“

Interviewer: What could your country do to make it easier for the transgender community to self-develop freely?

Nikki: „I said it before but I really wished we had transhealthcare that doesnt rely on sheer luck. Also, an anti-discrimination law that forbids discriminate against trans people would be nice. Last but not least, gender needs to be talked about during sex-ed in my opinion.“

Interviewer: What can transnational organizations like the EU do to protect the community, or if you were in an influential position, what should the objectives of an international movement for transgender rights be?

Nikki: „Putting money into projects that normalize being trans and also squashing subvention for locations like these LGBT free zones in Poland. And setting legal prescedents that trans rights are human rights.“

Interviewer: Finally, what do you want to tell those who are still in the closet and/or Gen Z?

Nikki: „It’s never too late or too early to transition. You are the one that determines when it’s right for you.“

Interviewer: Thank you for your time. Now to Sarah.

Interview Nr. 2

Name: Sarah
Age: n. A.
Nationality: British

Interviewer: When have you noticed that your gender identity didn’t align with existing conditions?

Sarah: „For me personally I see quite a bit of similarity with Nikki, I didn’t like puberty at all and something felt really wrong about the changes I was going through, not to mention that I sometimes thought about how much better things would be if I were a girl as young as 10. I used to wear a few dresses here and there at that age, but as I grew up I repressed it until the very start of this year where it all came back out again :)“

Interviewer: How did it shape your social environment afterwards?

Sarah: „As for my personal experience, I’ve been extremely lucky in getting support from so many people particularly online, my family are beginning to shift in the direction of accepting me and I hope to come out to more people irl in the near future. Right now I don’t present as female in public yet, although I intend to transition into doing so, but I’ve had a really positive experience in coming out of a depressive pit I’ve been in for years to find how much of a beautiful girl I was all along.“

Interviewer: And what could your country do to make it easier for the transgender community to self-develop freely?

Sarah: „Oh christ, considering I come from the United Kingdom, where do I even start? We’re one of the worst countries in western Europe for trans issues, and there’s a lot of things that could be done to improve things for all of us. There’s been a lot of movement particularly among young people in the right direction, considering how progressive younger people generally are here, but the government lags behind consistently.

It’s hard to change legal name or gender, both in fees and the insane bureaucracy of the process, not to mention all the requirements attached to it. We’re weaponised in national politics often, from the equalities minister claiming that they want to „protect single-sex spaces“ to Alex Salmond pushing for „sex-based rights“, and practically all parties house transphobes. There needs to be amendments to the Gender Recognition Act, which was a piece of legislation I’m still really happy for that Tony Blair proposed and passed, in order to make things easier for us, and anti-discrimination laws would be desirable as well.

One of the worst things is the trans healthcare system, the waiting lists are so long for the public option that it could take a decade or more if one were to apply now, and there’s constant efforts by transphobic organisations and individuals such as LGB alliance to make it even harder. There’s a long way to go, I’m just happy that we’re starting to see a little bit of development in support of making our lives better.“

Interviewer: Regarding transnational organizations like the EU, what could they do protect the transgender community; or if you were in an influential position, what should the objectives of an international movement for transgender rights be?

Sarah: „I support what Nikki said, there needs to be a wider collective effort of European solidarity on many issues and it includes this one, and the EU must be unequivocally supportive and protective of trans people when their national government attacks them. I admire Vice Commission President Frans Timmermans for this reason, he’s been one of the most active people within the commission for providing opposition to Poland, and I’m still sad that he didn’t get the top job because he would have been more active in this area. The European Union has already been an engine for human rights, democracy, and the protection of minorities, and their actions should be reflective of this on how they can protect us.“

Interviewer: Lastly, what is your message to those who are still in the closet and the younger generation (Gen Z)?

Sarah: „For all trans young people, and for those still closeted, I just want to say that I’m really proud of you. We live in pretty difficult times right now, and coming out is hard, not just to others but to yourself, and it’s a process that can take a while to discover who you truly are. You’re beautiful, brave, and strong. I believe in you, and I’m not the only one either.“

Interviewer: Thank you for your time Sarah, and that was quite informative. With that, the interview ends.

Closing Remarks

I want to thank both Sarah and Nikki for taking the time and answering my questions. For the readers of this article, I hope that the interview gave you insight into the topic from the perspective of those who are part of the transgender community.

In the future, I’ll conduct similar interviews with other groups and communities.

Veröffentlicht von thomasbaroque

Ich schreibe über politische, wirtschaftliche und wissenschaftliche Themen. Meine eigenen politischen Ziele ebenso. / I write about politics, the economy and science (my English isn't that good, though). My own political goals and ideas as well.

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