To mark June being Pride Month across the UK, young Scot Teddin speaks up about why he won’t stay silent against homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia.
Growing up LGBTQ+ often comes with its vocal outbursts. We get bullied and harassed both physically and verbally. Some others have the word “gay”, a celebratory term of their own identity, stolen and used against them as an insult. But in my life, I agree with the words of the proud gay historian and academic Michel Foucault:
As a young transgender person, it was the silence of teachers that led me to be bullied horrendously at school for walking, talking, simply being unlike what people perceived of me as a ‘man’. It is this pervasive, suffocating, ever so violent silence that decides what is left in the picture and what (or rather who) is excluded. Hence, I believed that this violence was normal, that being the receptacle to others anxieties over gender and sexuality was the only role I was given.
But silence takes more forms than not speaking up against bullies. Often when I come out as trans to people, like talking politics at the dinner table, I am met with a deadening, unnerving silence. This does not come from a place of anger, but of misunderstanding. This does not make me feel accepted however, it makes me feel invisible, and as if my identity must be silenced to keep the idea of what is ‘normal’ in check.
The rich and diverse experiences of our lives help make us who we are. We are downright beautiful for it, and we have beautiful things to say about it.
Teddin spoke out as part of Prince’s Trust Scotland's support to LGBT Youth Scotland’s Silence Helps Homophobia campaign.