Trans Awareness Week 2020 with Kairo

Hey there! My name is Kairo (they/he). I study Photography at LCC and in my free time I love playing guitar, painting and learning about politics, astrology and many other gay activities. This week is Trans Awareness Week (TAW) and, as the newly elected Trans Officer, I wanted to kick it off by writing this blog post for everyone.

One of my main goals during my position as Trans Officer is to create safe spaces for all. Whether you are a cis and/or straight comrade looking to learn more about the community or someone from the LGBTQ+ who is currently struggling to get the support they need, I am here for you and you are very much needed. No one is ever disposable, and I really want all my trans and non-binary siblings to thrive this year.

But anyways, back to Trans Awareness Week! Let me be honest with you…I had never heard of TAW up until this year. Since I found the language that best describes this feeling that I’ve had since I was little, I have been extremely thankful for the ones that came before me. The ones that simply can’t hide and that choose to stay in the light. And it’s for these same people that I would like to dedicate Trans Awareness Week.

At home I sleep in a box room on a single bed with a wardrobe. The wardrobe has a really large mirror that faces my bed. I’m really not a morning person, in fact I work and feel better in the dark. In the mornings I wake up and the first thing that I see is my reflection: my cheekbones are the only straight lines in my body. I thank the big soft duvet for hiding my hips and curves and most days I close my eyes and wait for the 3rd or 4th alarm clock so I can drag myself out of bed. The thing is, some bodies and some souls can’t and won’t ever fit into these boxes and I’m not here to try and make myself small.

Being a trans masculine, non-binary person means that every day I am in many ways made aware of my transness. Whether it’s the choice between female or male toilets, the words ‘miss’ coming out of a strangers’ lips as they ask me ‘How do you spell terrible?’ and I think to myself, English is a limited language but I am really glad I can help you right now and I wish that somehow you could help me too. But let’s not get it twisted, I really love being who I am. I love constantly evolving, having the opportunity to show folks how beautiful it is to really be and express yourself. I love my courage. I love people who ‘don’t understand but respect me’. I love the ones who try to understand but fail to do so because my existence can’t be intellectualised – it is simply lived experience.

I love and appreciate how we collectively choose to spend this week to promote and uplift trans and or non-binary folks. Without the works of Alok Vaid-Menon, Travis Alabanza, Kai-Isaiah Jamal and Chella Man I would have never been able to discover parts of myself that I had hidden for so long. Without queer community spaces I would have never been able to fully understand the importance that my individual and collective existence holds.

So this is an ode to all my siblings and comrades. To Munroe Bergdorf, Pxssy Palace, my problematic fave Azealia Banks and all the beautiful UAL folks that make up our community.

I hope you know that you are needed and valued. I can’t wait to meet you all and I hope you have an amazing week!

You can contact Kario via d.urovi0720181@arts.ac.uk