The queer community need to pull together to support our Trans family

Cllr Francis Timmons shares how the queer community's past struggles should inform how much our Trans family need support.

A person wearing a cap seen from behind holding a placard that reads 'No LGB without the T'
Image: Karollyne Hubert c/o Unsplash

Cllr Francis Timmons on why the queer community need only to look at their own past struggles to realise how much we need to come together for our Trans family.

I have been shocked, upset and angered by recent media and online media in regards to the Trans community. I remember a cruel time in Ireland where being gay was illegal and the morals of the country were dictated by a church who, in the whole, didn’t manage to live up to their high morals. They judged and condemned.

The teachings of the church, confounded by gay being illegal at the time, left so many with no option but to marry in a cover up or even enter the very religious life that judged their secret. It was undoubtably a cruel society that condemned so many to a life where they couldn’t live as a whole person. This was the same church that condemned unmarried mothers and their children into cruel institutions.

Some media seem to indicate that children pick their identity; it’s not a choice. I knew at an early age I was gay and there was nothing I could do about it. It’s not a case of having several options and picking the one you want. For society it should be about having the adequate supports in place while the person is questioning and discovering their own sexuality. We should never just treat it as just a feeling or a stage.

A recent cruel headline went as far as suggesting “The future will condemn us for pandering to the Trans agenda’’ but in the past, generations judged and left generations hurt. Society has thankfully moved on, an overwhelmingly 62% majority said ‘Yes’ to equality in the 2015 marriage referendum. There was for many a real sense of change, a sense of a home for LGBTQ+ people in Ireland. But sadly, other reminders come. Hate attacks, homophobia, transphobia and biphobia in the media, even murders in our own country. The recent attacks on our Trans family are unacceptable.

An LGBT Ireland report showed that over 48% of Trans participants had self-harmed and over 75% had considered taking their own life. Sadly, despite much progress, transphobia, stigma, discrimination and inequality still exist must be called out and challenged. We know Trans youth are one of the most marginalised groups of adolescents in society. We see first-hand the harm inflicted on them when they are denied the right to gender recognition. Trans young people are more likely to be bullied, experience anxiety, depression, face violence, have low self-esteem, navigate homelessness, or die by suicide.

Words hurt, I have been on the receiving end of homophobic language towards me, attacks on my home and property. This had a huge effect on me, I can only imagine the effect the recent media coverage has had on the Trans community. Before we speak, we need to educate ourselves and open our minds,

I grew up gay at a time when it was illegal, what an awful way to live life, to not be yourself! To live in shame of who you are!

Let’s not do the same damage to the Trans community!

I don’t know much but I do know I would rather people be who they were born to be than self-harming or contemplate suicide. I hope we can build a society that respects diversity and encourages inclusion for everyone.

Cllr Francis Timmons
Clondalkin Area Chair 2021-2022
Independent Dublin Mid West

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