It’s been two years since I was curious enough to get on the internet, hoping to gain a working understanding of what it means to be transgender. On my first click, I found a safe space for seeking and giving support, sharing anecdotes and jokes, and posting news. As I read further I did end up gaining the knowledge I was seeking, but I also found that it was something that applied to me as well. I am transgender.
What was most surprising to me was not that I wasn’t the gender I thought I was for over 20 years, it was that I never had the opportunity to figure it out before then. All my knowledge of trans people came from the vague and uneducated whisperings of my peers. It was as if I was stuck in the Matrix, completely unaware of the reality that I was about to wake up to.
It all changed as soon as I was able to see trans people as they actually are. They were finally visible, and they were willing to use their own experiences to help others. I finally wasn’t alone in my struggle to understand myself and find my place in the world. Since then, it has definitely been a journey. I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs over the years, but I am currently happier than I ever would have thought was possible.
About Transgender Day of Visibility
This is part of the power in Transgender Day of Visibility. It’s a way for trans people to finally be seen and heard. It’s also a day to celebrate trans and gender diverse people, and especially those among us that have made a difference. Even if it is only one day in the calendar, it really makes a difference to those feeling isolated and alone, and to those like me who didn’t even know who they were.
This was the hope of Rachel Crandall-Crocker when she started the movement back in 2009. She wanted a day for people from all corners of the world to come together and celebrate. As successful as it has been, she says it has come with some drawbacks.
Unfortunately, visibility isn’t always positive. Trans people, especially BIPOC trans people, are disproportionately victims of violence, which is why #TDOV isn’t just for publicizing those that are gender diverse. It is just as important for allies and supporters to put their hands up and show their support. Whether that be by speaking up for someone that you know or educating someone (like a younger me) who doesn’t have any understanding of trans people.
Celebrating Trans Visibility at PaperCut
I’m very lucky to work at PaperCut, where I have the support of my colleagues and leaders who respect my voice and create an environment where I am able to be myself. PaperCutters have shown through their actions that they are trying to create a more diverse and inclusive space.
For example, we’ve converted our single occupancy toilets into all-gender bathrooms. Even as early as when I was in the recruitment process, I was shown that there are guidelines in place that ensure I have the support I need when seeking gender-affirming care.
After becoming a PaperCutter I also quickly became a member of Women Better Together, our global program for supporting and empowering women at PaperCut. I’m also involved with our Melbourne DEIB chapter—PaperCut’s global Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging project which also has branches in our EMEA and Americas regions. I’m immensely proud to be a part of these groups as they work to ensure all PaperCutters feel safe and supported.
That being said, we also need to remember that not everyone is so lucky. Let’s take Transgender Day of Visibility as a reminder to continue celebrating, uplifting, and helping those among us who are transgender—not just on a single day in March, but every day.
Hear more from Zoe on the Print Geeks podcast
To further celebrate Transgender Day of Visibility, Zoe joined us on the Print Geeks podcast and told us more about how STEM was a welcoming space during her transition. Give it a listen, and subscribe for more print and tech talk.
About DEIB at PaperCut
DEIB - Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging - is PaperCut’s diversity action group, which currently has three chapters, one per region in APAC, Americas, and EMEA. Made up of passionate PaperCutters, all DEIB branches drive work in all aspects of diversity to build awareness, educate, and make change where needed to ensure all PaperCutters feel safe and supported.