Young non-binary person throws down gauntlet for cis allies to ‘risk their comfort and stand up for trans rights’
Trans ally placards at London's first ever Trans Pride march on 14 September, 2019. (Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
A young non-binary person has taken to the BBC airwaves to call for cisgender allies to stand up for trans rights.
Ben spoke for one minute on BBC Radio 1, as part of an initiative by the public broadcaster to give young people the opportunity to make their voices heard.
They focused on the experiences of non-binary transgender people who are active online, beginning their clip by sharing the highlights of understanding their non-binary gender.
“My name is Ben, and as a non-binary person part of the trans community, life is hard and is especially hard for those of us who are active online,” they say at the beginning of the clip.
“There is joy to be had in realising exactly who you are, and as a non-binary person, this has taken time. I fought for who I am, and I love that. I will not give this up.”
Ben then followed this with a plea for cisgender allies to appreciate how difficult online abuse and harassment can become, calling on allies to stand up for trans rights.
“I and many others in the community end up receiving abuse and hate online all the time,” Ben says. “We need allies: cisgender people need to put their comfort at risk and stand up for trans rights. If allies come on board, then we can live our lives and enjoy being who we are.”
Ben’s call for allies to stand up is the latest in a long line of non-binary trans people who’ve pointed out that allyship needs to be active, with cis people having to confront their own privileges to stand up for trans rights.
Finally, Ben shared that “being trans and non-binary is magic, and that is a wonderful experience”.
“We should all be able to claim our space, live freely with gender euphoria, and celebrate the unique, incredible nature of being exactly who we are,” they concluded.
Aled Haydn Jones, head of Radio 1, said: “Many young people have struggled to find a voice in what has been an incredibly challenging year for us all, so we’re giving them a chance to do exactly that and tell us what they would say if they were given a national platform.
“We want people to hear directly from the next generation and listen to what’s important to them, and I’m pleased Radio 1 is able to help share their stories.”