‘Why I’m A Trans Ally’ trend proves once again that decent people outweigh transphobes, filling the internet with much-needed positivity
Fighting for trans rights can, at times, feel like an isolating experience. Institutions lend megaphones to privileged people and groups to boom anti-trans views, while lawmakers work to erode what little rights, if any, the community exercises.
Yet, tens of thousands of Twitter users made one thing perfectly clear Sunday night (19 July): Why they are an ally to the trans community.
In short, the more than 36,000 tweets that became the number one trending hashtag in the UK can be summarised as follows: People are trans allies because they are decent human beings.
The “#WhyImATransAlly” was set in motion by Helen, the mother of a trans son based in the UK, who sought to start the trend to remind the world of the overwhelming amount of support there is for the trans community.
Tens of thousands passionately tweet why they’re a trans ally; ‘Because why would I not be?’
Moments after Helen’s original tweet, a kaleidoscopic array of celebrities, singers, officials, LGBT+ community leaders, healthcare providers, charities, political groups, journalists and activists shared heartening reasons why they, you know, do the bare minimum of being a human by supporting one of the most marginalised, persecuted and vulnerable populations of people.
While anti-trans people decry ‘cancel culture’, half of trans youth have considered suicide.
It comes during a truly dispiriting time for trans folks not only in the UK, but across the world.
Headlines of the murders of trans people continue to clog newsreels, some of the most powerful people in society write scathing takedowns of a community just trying to get by or bemoan of being “cancelled”, while country officials brutally rollback trans rights in the throes of a viral pandemic.
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All the while, more than half of trans and non-binary youth seriously considered suicide within the last year, according to a study by a top LGBT+ youth prevention charity.
But for now, a moment of relief. Helen expressed her shock at seeing a hashtag radiate across Twitter within hours, noting that it “gladdens my heart that are so many trans [allies] out there who embrace and support the trans community.”
Helen later explained why the hashtag is so important: “So that trans people can visibly see the support they have when others obsessively seek to hurt them!” she wrote.
“Trans allies, it is up to us to speak up against this sort of thing.
“Don’t just tweet a hashtag: Take action!”
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