March 31st is Trans Day of Visibility for the LGBTQ+ community, and to mark the occasion, MyKemptvilleNow.com spoke with a local transgender man to discuss the issues issues trans people face.
“There’s this one specific instance that I do think of,” says Dylan Coffin, when asked about discrimination he’s faced for being trans in his day-to-day life.
“I think I was sixteen or seventeen, I was doing co-op at this place in high school, and one of the supervisors just asked me, point blank, in front of literally everybody, if I was a boy or a girl. It was very aggressive, and I felt really uncomfortable answering that.”
Coffin says the event made him feel unsafe on the job for the rest of his time working there. “I was very hesitant about going into washrooms during my co-op, because I didn’t want to run into this person.”
Now a university student, Coffin says Trans Day of Visibility is an opportunity for his community to feel positive and worry less about the hardships that come from being transgender.
“There’s a lot of heavy things,” he says, “but I think today, specifically, is a day for celebration and education, and all the good things, and not necessarily remembering the bad.”
Coffin feels it’s also important because it helps people questioning their gender understand what they feel, something he says he could have benefitted from when he was younger.
“I didn’t know that trans men existed until I was 15,” he says. “I was in high school, and I met somebody, and we were just chatting and it just came up in conversation, I don’t know how. It was like, ‘oh, I just thought this was how everybody feels, but no, this is something completely different.’ So I think education is very important, because somebody might be feeling this way without even knowing that there is something out there, and they’re not just alone.”
If you’ve been questioning your own gender identity, Coffin recommends looking into the online LGBTQ+ community. He’s also urging anyone that’s against trans people to reflect on why they feel uncomfortable about it.
“We exist, we’re not all bad. We’re just normal people.”