“Pronouns are the social gateway of acknowledging one’s chosen identity. For me, it gave me another sense of affirmation that I always sought out for. ”
Instead, people still regularly believe that trans people need to take hormones and get surgeries to be seen as valid – but of course this is hard for everyone to do, whether that be due to finances, transphobia in the medical industry or simply just not wanting deeply invasive procedures.
Transitioning can also mean, as Rosiah says, socially and mentally transitioning which, although liberating, can also be hard. Bernier talked to us about his own personal experiences with family and acceptance: “The difficult reality for me is that the furthest family members were supportive, the closest ones were misunderstanding of my transition. It took years of forcing my authenticity to the world for everyone to digest my message: “I’m going to live my peace with or without you, but understand a life without you is a result of your own bigotry.” With time and internal soul searching some members came along.”
This is why safe spaces can be important for the queer community – a space where we can truly be ourselves and meet, learn and love each other. Rosiah says his meaning of a safe space is: “A safe space is where I feel the freedom of expression, receive respect and I am unconditionally loved.”