"The rights and health of trans and gender non-conforming people are under attack: allyship is more important than ever. "
Emmett is a player for our All Gender Touch Team and wished to deliver this message for Trans Awareness Week this year (13-20 November 2022.
In December 2020 I made the life changing decision to accept myself; it was also a life-saving decision. I didn’t choose to be Emmett, I simply chose to accept Emmett and it was the best decision I ever made. It wasn’t easy, I was afraid I’d lose family and friends, I asked my mum if she wanted me to stay at uni over Christmas, she called me a ‘muppet’ for even thinking she wouldn’t accept me. There was a lot of joy over the following months: legally changing my name, starting hormones, clothes shopping. I made friends in the trans community and over the last 23 months I’ve become more comfortable and confident in my own skin.
However, not everything has been rainbows and sunshine. The trans community has always been attacked and marginalised.
It’s a tough time to be trans in the UK this year alone trans women have been banned from multiple sports including grassroots rugby, restrictions have been placed on trans men including myself.
The government likes to use trans rights as a bargaining point with the latest PM stating he would remove trans rights from the Equality Act. This would mean that I and my trans siblings can be denied healthcare, jobs, housing just for being trans. It’s terrifying. At 21 I shouldn’t have to worry about my rights being taken away, I shouldn’t be using my student loan to access healthcare among other things, but I am and I’ve accepted it. I should just be able to enjoy my last year at uni without being overwhelmed by transphobic media, gender critical people who believe that I shouldn’t exist, despite the fact I clearly do. Even in such tough times, trans joy can be found everywhere, next month I’ll be celebrating 2 years out and in April I’ll be celebrating 2 years on testosterone.
I want to express how important allyship is: without allies I wouldn’t have been able to get as far as I have. Without the support of my friends and family, Emmett wouldn’t exist, he’d be back in the closet. The support of my inclusive rugby clubs has enabled me to find confidence in myself and my body, they’ve accepted me as me and I’ll always appreciate that. Being an active ally is so easy and important, give trans people a voice, follow trans influencers or charities and share their media. Add your pronouns to your social media and email signatures. Sign petitions, attend protests, educate yourself on the trans community.
Emmett Peacock (He/Him)