#TransDayofVisibility 2021: Shash’s story

“There is so much strength found in solidarity, now more than ever.”

Self portrait courtesy of Shash Appan

A new life

Shash’s re-entry to living in Britain eventually led to a new life in the Welsh city of Cardiff. “I was homeless for a while and struggling to live, and then I got offered to study computer science at Cardiff Met University. I packed up what little I had, got on a bus, and I’ve been here since.”

It feels lonely

The atmosphere around trans issues in the UK is charged, to say the least, with vehement anti-trans rhetoric on social media every day, and regularly in the mainstream media, much of it coming from trans exclusionary radical feminists (TERFs), who argue that trans women are not women, and are taking over ‘real’ women’s spaces. If you are trans, it is not an easy atmosphere to live in.

History repeating itself

The attacks on trans people in many European countries bring up other times in history, when similar limiting of expression has taken place. “We’ve seen it time and time again,’ says Shash, “where laws are introduced and there is propaganda and a public atmosphere to the point where certain groups are villainised. It’s always the same kind of rhetoric. It’s not even like ‘we wouldn’t want them raising our kids’ or arguments like that. It’s much more nebulous. It’s more like ‘they do not have a place in our society’.

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