A elephant in the room

Recently there’s been a lot of people coming forward on the scene coming forward about predators and abusers and I can’t say that I’m surprised about the people being called out about it and the worst thing that everyone else, they haven’t appeared to be surprised about these people being called out either and all together that’s really concerning.

Well not the fact that people are speaking up, but the amount of people that suspected that this was happening and haven’t said anything or challenged it (personally I was always challenge if I suspect it).

The other day I was chatting to a friend I haven’t spoken to in a while about predators on the scene and some recent events like the above and said about how predators can be likened to a elephant in a room. Everyone is aware that the elephant is there, that they are an elephant. But it’s more of a hushed agreement. No one says anything. We all can feel that something is off, or some of us have heard a few stories or even experienced the elephant being an elephant but a predator is dainty. It tiptoes on the edge of what is acceptable. It pushes as far as it thinks it can get away with. They claim it is a laugh. They say it is BDSM and justify it because it is their personal belief on how things should be done in their lifestyle. They manipulate consent and shout that the person consented. They will ban safewords, and not even talk about using them.

A predator is on the good side of everyone on its periphery. They need to be perceived as a good person. What elephant wouldn’t try to fit in if it sticks out like a sore thumb? It tries. Again, it dips it’s toe in until it’s time to plunge in the entire foot. Until it forgets itself.

Now, no one wants to stand up and point at the elephant and shout out loud to everyone, ‘It’s an elephant!’ The elephant will clamber in, knock several tables and people over before apologising in a stutter and extending it’s hand to shake and we will pretend we don’t see the broken crockery and possible crushed skulls on the floor because it’s not fair to outcast the elephant. It seems nice, looks nice. It claims standing on those people was an accident. It also had something in it’s eye and it swears blind it overheard one of those people say they liked being stood on. The elephant does this again, something in it’s eye. Oh? That person crushed into the carpet like the last? They said they liked being stood on too! What a coincidence! What’s that? They’re crying? Protesting? Then they’re lying, lost their memory.

If it looks like an elephant and talks like an elephant, it could be an elephant. We can all be as tolerant and as polite as you like, but it’s still an elephant. What can we do without the fear of shouting ‘IT’S AN ELEPHANT’ and being shunned for calling out a ‘friendly’ elephant? Ask someone you trust. ‘Hey, does that look like an elephant in the room to you?’ Tell someone you trust. ‘Hey, I think this could be an elephant. It keeps treading on me, even when I wave my arms around and ask it to look where it’s going. It’s not it’s eyes either, it’s been to the optician’s recently.’ Ask someone you trust if they saw you wave, or what they might have done if they had been the elephant and saw you waving. Keep an eye on the elephant. Be careful of it. You could be mistaken, but you aren’t harming it or anyone else just by being wary. If you think it’s an elephant, acknowledge it. More importantly, if someone tells you they think there’s an elephant in the room, don’t dismiss that person as they feel they have a reason to believe it’s an elephant. Maybe they thought they saw some big ears behind a door, or a trunk once, under the table but something has caused that belief. Ridiculing that someone or thinking ill of them only discourages them from talking about the elephant or any other elephants that they may come across.

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Some thoughts on Transgender Day of Remembrance

So today is that time of the year where it’s Transgender Day of Remembrance. Since the last TDoR over 200 trans* women were killed just for being who they were and a large number of people killed were overwhelmingly people of colour.

Being Transgender is not fun at all, you can be assaulted, verbally abused, questioned about your name or what genitals you have and as I wrote about earlier you can be killed just for being who you are. You might have to explain your anatomy or history to partners as well all while not knowing how they will react.

As a trans woman with a support network I still have a hard time believing if any partner would love me as who I am or if they’re treating me as a secret. In the past I’ve been assaulted, threatened, stalked and even had death threats put through my door just because for being who I am. These are things I’ve come to expect for being trans now and as I expect for being outspoken and campaigning on LGB&T issues locally and around the country.

It really shouldn’t be this way, everyday I wish I could of been born a cis woman or wishing some people wouldn’t bring up or know my old name. I also wish that being trans (or having a trans history) wasn’t a big deal for some people.

Like I said earlier I have a great support network from friends, family but also from Twitter and the likes of people I’ve met through facebook but it’s still hard to get though each day knowing about what people say/think or even do to us. That knowing there’s people who will want to invade our privacy, or think it’s okey to ask intimate details about our lives (like who we love? How do we do it? What parts do we have?). Sadly people have asked me these (and also asked friends or family of mine this as well)

For four years now I’ve been a outspoken campaigner on LGB&T issues (Mainly the T) and have seen many things improve in my time such as the increasing awareness of trans issues and people BUT the fact that there’s so much more that needs changing still but it’s a uphill battle.

I thank my friends and family for being there for me and everyone else for being there for all the trans people in their lives. We need it and appreciate it (even if we don’t say it or show it). We don’t do what we do to be inspirational (I think we all get told this at some point). We are resilient, beautiful people with complex stories and who knew, perhaps better than anyone, what it means to overcome and I hope daily that the work that people like us are doing will allow more of us to overcome the violence that this world does to us so often.

We aren’t going to be going away and the light of everyone of us that is taken to soon, will carry on in each one of us as the fire in the bellies, of us who live to see another day, to carry on fighting

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