British journalist and author Shon Faye. (Paul Samuel White)
Author and journalist Shon Faye has outlined why, in the simplest of terms, trans liberation is the right step forward.
In an interview with Now Then Magazine, Faye explains the reasons behind writing her book The Transgender Issue: An Argument for Justice and why trans liberation is paramount in our effort toward a more accepting future.
“We’ve heard a lot about trans rights, about this idea that trans people deserve equality within our present system,” she says. “But very little about the idea that, in fact, the present system is predicated on inequality and injustice.”
In her book, Faye explores how broader issues of society like class divergence, institutional mistreatment, and mainstream media perception affect the trans community’s efforts to gain equality.
“If you were to read or listen to the mainstream media, trans people are constantly, at best, presented as some kind of nuisance, or worse, some kind of threat,” she continues.
Faye doesn’t specifically view her reach for equality through a trans-specific lens. She uses her nuanced reasoning to argue that trans liberation is liberation for all those in a minority bracket.
“When you’re talking about trans liberation, what that means as opposed to just trans equality or trans rights, is arguing for the dismantling of systems which marginalise trans people.
“And of course, a lot of those systems are things that marginalise lots of people who aren’t trans as well – whether that be in terms of medical inequality, housing, or lack of social welfare,” Faye explains.
The interview also touches upon Jamie Wallis, the Conservative MP for Bridgend, Wales, whose historic coming out made him the first openly trans MP in the UK.
When asked if Jamie Wallis coming out would make a difference to trans representation in politics, Faye said “no”, adding “I think it’s too early really to say definitively.”
“Jamie Wallis is a Conservative and that’s relevant, in the same way, you wouldn’t presume all people of colour to find positive representation in or positive politics in Priti Patel, for example,” she says.
She also goes into the circumstances surrounding Wallis’ statement, saying “we have to remember that Jamie Wallis did not stand for parliament as a candidate while openly trans and was outed essentially by blackmail“.
Despite initially saying no outright in the interview, it’s worth noting Faye’s reluctance to “make any specific predictions”, saying that “only time will tell”.