As transgender people, until this day, are the ones who have the highest rates of death among the LGBT+ community around the world, a positive change towards creating a clear image of who they’re is definitely important.
We need to teach each other how to respect the differences that make each one of us unique. And for that, we have to keep in mind that being different doesn’t always translate to being bad or weird but it simply translates to the need of people to present themselves in the way that brings them the most inner peace.
Today we celebrate transgender day of visibility to raise awareness of the hate crimes and discrimination that trans individuals face around the world and on daily basis. In Iraq, so as in many other countries, trans seem to be the ones who are least remembered or accepted as a lot of Iraqis including ones from the LGBT+ community, don’t seem to accept them. And that’s why spreading awareness in still needed and will be until trans people get equal rights as everybody else.
For this special day, IraQueer would like to share messages of love and support that come from both Iraqi trans and Iraqi allies which are sent to all our Iraqi transgender people. These messages are from individuals who come from different backgrounds, beliefs, and sexualities but share the same desire to change the social norms that try to shut you down:
“In trans visibility day, we’re celebrating you, our trans friends, and anyone that falls under that umbrella. We are celebrating those who got the opportunity to start their journey towards the life they desire and to those who put it on hold. And as Laverne Cox said, “We are in a place where more and more trans people want to come forwards and say THIS IS WHO I AM.”
To all our trans friends, you’re seen. To all of you out there who go through it every day, you are loved. We’re not what other people say we are, we’re who we know ourselves to be, and we’re what we love. And here we support who you’re, and who you choose to be. To all of you, happy trans visibility day.”
-Love and support message from Rafeef, a 22- year- old ally, Baghdad
“I personally support transgender people and their rights. I believe it’s very crucial to give our support to one of the most misunderstood and marginalized groups especially in the LGBTQ+ community and in the world generally. Trans people face all kinds of discrimination and their existence is considered a threat to the patriarchal capitalist principles which are based on oppressive gender roles and resulting in gender-based violence when individuals don’t partake in the sex-assigned social role.
Trans people challenge this discriminative binary world view. The very existence of trans people is the evidence that these dismissive social norms are invalid. We as feminists, activists, and advocates must fight for the rights of our friends and families who are trans. Moreover, a supportive community is very critical and valuable for any individual going through big challenges in their life, and this definitely includes trans people.”
-Love and support message from Zheera Bazzaz, a 24- year- old ally, Slemani
“I know how hard it’s to be part of a society like our Middle Eastern society and I can imagine the amount of negative energy and ugly words you hear daily that come not only from strangers but from the closest people to you who are supposed to be the ones who support you and accept you the most. But you also need to know that I’m and many others like me will always be your allies and we’re all ready to give you the love and peace and support you need. Most importantly, we won’t stop unless all of you get the freedom you deserve.
My advice to you is to not let anybody hurt you or underestimate you, regardless of who that person is. Fight this life and this society that is hungry to lose you and remember that nothing comes easily. I wish you get what you want. All love and support and respect to you regardless of where you are now.”
-Love and support message from Kawthar, a 20- year- old ally, Turkey.
“I’m a boy who was born in a body of a girl. My message is to all the ones who are in the same situation. I know about all the struggle and the inner fights that you go through but you need to keep in mind that we are special so please don’t hate yourselves or feel bad about the situation you are in. Our experience is unique with all the bad and good that we face. But you should know that none of it is your fault because we, as trans, are normal people as everybody else.
What I ask you for is to take very good care of yourselves. I wish I was able to meet every one of you who’s reading my message now. I can’t explain the amount of love I have for all of you and I can’t describe my feelings as I knew there were so many people like me. Love yourselves and appreciate yourselves. I wish you achieve all your goals and desires, thank you for the time you spend reading this message”
-Love and support message from Hana, a 15- year- old trans, Karbala
“To the ones who are reading this blog and this message, I know the situation is bad and it’s a hard time for you. I know that many people aren’t nice or friendly, I know that you have heard so many bullies and had to deal with so many troubles that don’t make any sense, but I want you to know that you’re not alone in this. You should enjoy the small successes you have achieved and the small steps that you have taken to finish your transition.
I want you to know that we love you and we understand what you’re going through, your voice is heard, and we’re ready to help you. I wish you more beautiful days and happy times and fewer breakdowns and I hope you’ll never go through something that brings your tears down. Always remember to smile and to keep fighting because everything will be better.”
-Love and support message from Nora, a trans from Baghdad