Everyone wants to be the best ally they can, right? Juno Roche shares their thoughts on trans allyship and their motivation for writing the third book in their trilogy, Gender Explorers.
In order to support people, you need to be able to really see them. To see them as they see themselves and not as you want to see them or experience them.
For so long trans people have had to please allies to get allies. We had to be the kind of easy breezy understandable trans person that they could put in a simple box, or on a t-shirt.
We had to be a slogan.
Trans women are…..
Trans men are……
Non Binary are…..
All good up to the point at which we start to become reduced to being a singular thing, a thing which has to please the masses of apparently other singular things who sit in judgement on us. Heteronormativity and cisnormativity.
Trans people outside the gender-normative discourse brought in from the cold by a slogan which declares them to be just like us, no more, but maybe less.
Those slogans are great and have been wonderful tools. It’s genuinely provided cover from hailstones and words thrown down from high, dusty perches. The stones of privilege.
‘YOU’RE NOT REAL. YOU’RE NOT A REAL WOMAN.’
They shout from across the void.
Even with the t-shirt we’re still not enough, never enough for them.
In my books all I’ve wanted to do is to centre and celebrate trans voices, not defence slogans or confrontational replies, but intimate and emotionally resonant conversations and shared learning between trans lives and trans bodies.
In Gender Explorers, the final book in this trilogy, I listened to young trans, fluid, non-binary and gender non-conforming people talk from their own real places about how they experience the world and their gendered identities within it. They are pre slogan, almost pre trans, just young people exploring and expressing themselves in ways that feel both congruent and comfortable within our world. If you want to be an ally wear the t-shirt, but also listen, just listen.
Listen to the sheer brilliance, bravery, and resilience of these young people to find out what gender can be and mean in 2020.
You can follow Juno on Twitter here.
All three of their books are available now: Queer Sex, Trans Power and Gender Explorers.