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Reflecting on National Coming Out Day

 Today is "National Coming Out Day" to support LGBTQ+ people in coming out of the closet and celebrating their true selves with friends and family. It is the ideal, that it is a celebration, but that this day exists says we have much to do still.

I am only partially out and there is maybe a dozen people that are aware that I am on hormone replacement therapy. It's a stealth transition for now, I plan to have these conversations with family, friends, and work in the new year, so I will not be coming out more broadly today. It is, however, a day to reflect a bit on where we're at, specifically from the perspective of a trans person.

So, I consider myself incredibly fortunate to be living in Canada in this day and age, especially when it comes to transgender rights and protections. Canada is, by no means, perfect in this respect, but placed against the lens of other nations? It's distinctly amongst the very best. For me, there is self-ID, informed consent, health care coverage (including my hormones), and I have a doctor that is experienced in trans care and supportive of trans people. I am, as it goes, very lucky in my situation. For many others, things are not as rosy and I don't even have to look far to see that. 

South of the border, it is pretty clear that LGBTQ+ rights are headed to serious challenge with a Supreme Court about to be stacked with socially regressive judges. Trans rights are already a ridiculous patchwork across the US and this going to make it worse, undoing gains made in many states. Unless something changes very soon, this feels truly inevitable and saddens me deeply.

Cross over the pond and the UK is reaching peak transphobia with the media constantly publishing hit pieces and giving voice to bigots on a huge scale. There's no significant media outlet in the UK that hasn't done this, including the BBC, which then has the gall to publish a story on the quadrupling of transphobic hate crimes in the last five years, as though they haven't contributed to its rise. That doesn't even get me into the hate groups that have been egged on by a particularly well-known author who then turns around and plays victim all the while her foot is on the neck of an extremely marginalized community.

Start moving further east from the UK, eastern Europe and beyond, and the rights of LGBTQ+ people become truly dire, to the point of State sanctioned violence and murder. It is truly frightening just how rabid that hatred is and readily so many governments give license to many to freely indulge in it.

Against the backdrop, is it any wonder that some many of us are afraid?

So, I long for a day when this day is not something that is of consequence across the world. A day when gender and sexual diversity is celebrated as a joyous part of the human condition. That day doesn't exist yet, so today, we celebrate those that can and we work to help those that cannot.

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