A three stick figures joyfully dancing on three grey face coverings
A year of no masking. (Yes, that is a pun). Credit: Amy J. Ko

The gender transition that wasn’t

It’s international trans day of visibility today. In one way, the day is about refusing to hide, helping the world accept that trans people do exist, and that we’re human like everyone else. In another way, it’s a day about celebrating trans joy, in contrast to the more mournful trans day of remembrance, in which we remember all of trans people murdered. Of course, this year of pandemic has been a hard year to have joy: for me, it’s been full of crisis, burnout, residual trauma, depression, grief, fear, and anger. And it’s been a year of conservative assault on trans rights, banning youth from sports, banning trans health care, and more. And so in the spirit of trans joy, I’m going to imagine the pandemic-free year I could have had, and use that as a chart for the year I want to have when the world reopens. Perhaps by sharing this little bit of trans/pandemic fantasy, you might get a sense for how trans people aren’t that different from cis people, but also how we aren’t quite the same.

Professor of programming + learning + design + justice at the University of Washington Information School. Trans; she/her. #BlackLivesMatter.