"Hi! I’m Nico (or Neeks), I’m 29 years old, black + welsh, queer + pansexual, and my pronouns are he / they. I’ve lived in Bristol for 10 years."
Nico is currently putting feelers out to see if anyone’s interested in setting up a trans + queer dodgeball practice space. Message him on insta if you’re interested!
"For me, visibility is having a wide awareness that trans people exist. That we’re portrayed in a way which shows we’re not a messed up or weird group of people, and that we have so many lush parts about ourselves and our community. That trans joy exists and there’s an abundance of it! That we’ve existed for thousands of years. That we uplift and empower ourselves and each other. Although I grew up around sexuality + gender queerness, I didn’t feel like I really had access to visibility, trans joy, or resources which allowed me to figure out my gender, so I’m happy that there’s more of this available for trans and gender questioning children and young people today, for them to at least allow figure things out.
I think as a black queer and trans person, and I think a lot of QTIBPOCs (queer, trans, intersex, black + people of colour) can agree with this, visibility for me also means seeing representations of communities of trans people that reflect the actual community, especially of darker skinned black trans folks. I feel like, for so long the trans (and queer) community has been dominated + represented by white people. And it’s especially important to amplify the voices of QTIBPOCs + our joy within the community!"
"I was very aware of my queerness from a young age, around 9 years old, but not my gender. Luckily some of my chosen family from birth have been a group of dykes, so that was lush, but also helpful in knowing and believing queerness + queer gender expression, and that it’s completely normal.
I never really had capacity, due to bad mental health, to explore gender until I was around 22. I had been questioning my gender for a little while, thinking I was maybe non-binary, but everything was solidified when I went to a festival in Berlin for queer trans black + people of colour, called Cutie.BPOC Festival. Here, I experienced and witnessed so much QTIBPOC joy. It was at the festival that I knew for sure I was trans, and changed my name + pronouns mid festival (is this very leo rising of me?).
Nowadays the queer and trans scene in Bristol is much bigger and a bit more diverse, and in general I’m loving seeing the QTIBPOC + general trans spaces and events that exist within the UK! Now, I am 2 weeks on T and I’m feeling excited about what’s ahead."
"Recently my trans joy has come from, after thinking about it for a few years, finally being on T!! Trans joy also, for me, means things like: my heart swelling in QTIBPOC spaces; being unapologetic about who I am; hyping up my trans pals + community; knowing the resources / support / community that a lot of children and young people can access nowadays."
HOW CAN ALLIES HELP SUPPORT THE TRANS COMMUNITY?
educate yourselves and other cis people
educate yourselves about pronouns, and what the best way is to respond to being told you’ve misgendered someone.
call people in / out on their problematic views, misinformation, and fearmongering about trans people.
if you can afford it, donate money to organisations + fundraisers etc (especially if it directly supports BPOC trans people)
teach your children about trans people. encourage and support them to explore their gender expression and figure out their gender if they wish. go to therapy if you’re affected by your child coming out as trans.