My whole life, I’ve always known who I was, even when I didn’t know how to be the person that I wholeheartedly knew to be my truth. As a result, the world became more and more intrusive, the older I got. The bubble I lived in as a child became thinner and more transparent until one day, it burst. By the time I was a teenager, I had nothing to protect me from dangers I had no comprehension or understanding of.
I have a feeling the majority of us can relate in some way or another, and if you’re anything like me, it’s a constant struggle to keep smiling, when society reminds us every single day that being trans is a such a huge inconvenience to their shiny, happy, cis het utopia that we are ruining by being so unapologetically trans. How dare we!
The truth is, this utopia they’re trying so hard to protect is all a lie. Transphobia doesn’t come from fear or ignorance. Transphobia comes from power and privilege. Those in power feed a narrative to society that incites fear. It’s that fear that fuels the narrative.
And the result? Well, we see it every day. We see it right now. None of us want to be standing here. None of us want to be holding candles, knowing what is symbolises. We don’t want this.
When I began my transition 16 years ago, it was such a different time. I didn’t want the world to see me, because if people didn’t know I existed, nobody could hurt me. I was disconnected from everything, except myself. Being Yvy was the one thing I never questioned, even when society was trying its hardest to convince me that she was wrong. Despite all the hardships I encountered, my truth always made me smile.
Sixteen years later, I stand here in all my truth to let you all know that you are not alone. In my years I learnt that no matter what life throws at you, your truth is the one constant that you must celebrate. You mustn’t let anybody dilute your joy because the moment that happens, they begin to win.
Too many of us are being taken, and we cannot ignore what is happening or how it is affecting us. It’s becoming more and more frightening to feel like we can exist openly without putting ourselves at risk. But remember, unlike many of us, including myself who went through life alone to get to where we are, you are not walking this path by yourself.
It’s up to us to keep those we have lost in our hearts, and scream so fucking loud that we break down the walls of this pathetic utopia that we’ve been forced to live in. We don’t need to be told how to live, we are more alive and in tune with our existence than they will ever be. We know what joy can bring when you look at oneself and see boundless possibilities.
Joy is the key. Celebration is our armour. The moment we block out those who wish to harm us and not feed their narrative, the more we take their power away. Living your joy is exactly what they don’t want you to do, because they know how hate and fear can infect and spread like a virus. Well you know what, they have no idea what we are capable of. I will never stop fighting for us, and neither should you.
I fight with words, but more so, I fight with joy. As a writer, I fight by telling my story and putting my life out there for all to see, because I know how important it is, especially as a South Asian trans woman, for those who need to see someone else and feel a connection to the world that gives them hope.
I fight as The BollyWitch, to platform queer artists of colour and send a message that trans people of colour belong in our community, because let’s face it, transphobia is very much alive within the LGBTQ community, and that simply won’t stand.
I remember all those years ago, before I even knew what being transgender was, how afraid I was of the world. How alone I was. How hopeless it felt. I wouldn’t wish that feeling on anyone. So I’m here to tell you that you are beautiful. You are stronger than you even realise and if anyone tells you differently, they’re fucking dead wrong.
If you ever feel scared, or that you can’t walk out your door, or you just can’t seem to find your joy, just remember one simple truth. You are constantly evolving, and that journey will never end. The moment you came into this world, the energy changed to accommodate you, which means you belong here, in all your transness. Nobody can take that away from you.
It’s understandable to be overwhelmed by what is happening around you, I am every day. But don’t let it consume you. Instead, take your energy and create magic, manifest your joy and pour it into the things you love, that make you smile, that make you shine a little brighter every day, until the day comes when you can share that light with others, like I am right now.
We have the power to unite and be an unstoppable force, in honour of those we have lost, and for those of us still here who need us. Our joy is all that matters, I refuse to let our light dim. Let our trans siblings who need us know that we are here, and keep those we have lost alive in our joy and celebration.